After completion of the project
To ensure that collected research data can be found and re-used even after the end of the project, steps need to be taken to backup, store the data long-term and publish the data. The data have the potential for reuse and can serve as reference material for further research questions and scientific findings. It is therefore necessary to make data accessible and reusable in the long-term.
Research data are subject to changes during a project, which needs to be addressed by an effective data management. The responsible handling of research data includes not only the safe storage (backup) of the data but also their enrichment with descriptive information (metadata) describing the data, context of the creation and processing of the data. At the end of a project, all data should be available in a final version which is suitable for future reuse and, if possible, use standardised formats that are accepted in the respective discipline. To support the accessibility, interoperability and long-term availability of research data, it is recommended to use file formats suitable for long-term use (e.g. open, non-proprietary file types).
The University of Bayreuth encourages all researchers to publish their data in a way that is as accessible as possible, if there is no conflict with data protection, research ethics, copyright or patent protection regulations to prevent this (see guidelines).
Long-term data storage
- Why is a back-up of the data not sufficient for long-term storage?Hide
Data and file formats that you are currently using might not be accessible and interpretable in the long term. Content can be lost even if the physical data (bitstream) is still available. A back-up stores your data regardless of their condition, i.e. even damaged files or obsolete formats. During a back-up, the data are saved with a minimal set of (technical) metadata. The back-up does not contain any information on the context in which the data were collected, which is necessary to preserve the format. Long-term storage, on the other hand, ensures that the content and properties of the archived objects are available in the future independent of the system used.
- What options does the University of Bayreuth offer for long-term storage?Hide
You can archive your data in the Research Data Repository (RADAR). The University of Bayreuth has signed an agreement with this generic, cross-disciplinary service provider. RADAR offers a central point of contact for archiving and publishing a range of data and file formats. It was set up for operation across disciplines, hence there are no restrictions with regard to the file formats that can be archived. RADAR includes long-term storage of data for clients for a fixed period (5-15 years). After that time, the period can be extended or the data can be deleted. A current price list for the publication of your data via RADAR can be found on the website of the project.
Furthermore, an infrastructure for the long-term storage of research data is currently being developed as part of the project "Digitale Langzeitverfügbarkeit im Bibliotheksverbund Bayern" of the StMWK. In contrast to RADAR, the provision of the pre-ingest tool "FDOrganizer" developed as part of the project will simplify the delivery, structuring and enrichment with metadata of the research data. The project plans to implement the long-term availability with secured financing up to an unlimited period of time. If you are interested, please contact us at the UB.:
Robert Günther, email@example.com, 0921/55 3452
Alexandra Ullrich, firstname.lastname@example.org , 0921/ 55 3950
- How can I archive my data in RADAR?Hide
Before archiving your data in RADAR, you will have to enrich them with additional information (metadata) and transfer the data. RADAR provides a form for the allocation of metadata via the RADAR platform. Alternatively, it is possible to save the metadata offline as an XML file before uploading it to the RADAR platform. The packages are put together on a web platform using the temporary memory of the RADAR platform.
To apply for access to RADAR please contact the IT Service Centre.
Sharing and Publishing Data
Digital research data can be made (publicly) accessible in several ways. Making data findable, accessible and reusable are essential components of the „FAIR Principles“.
These recommendations include the planned and responsible handling of research data (FAIR Data) and are now endorsed by many research funding bodies such as the DFG and the EU. According to the FAIR Data concept, research data as well as the associated metadata should be findable, accessible, interoperable und re-usable.
As with articles, the unambiguous affiliation of a publication and its authors with the University of Bayreuth is important for the visibility of publications from Bayreuth University. Information and recommendations on standardised indication of affiliation for members of the University of Bayreuth can be found on the website of the university library in the publication guideline „The Affiliation in German and English Language Publications“.
- What is FAIR Data?Hide
In 2016 the paper „The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship“ was published, which contains guidelines for the FAIR handling of research data. The FAIR principles have become the standard for handling research data and are being endorsed by many research funding organisations. FAIR thereby refers to the four principles Findable, Accessible, Interoperable und Re-useable.
Further information on implementing the FAIR principles can be found at forschungsdaten.info, or in the OpenAIRE guideline for researchers "How to make your data FAIR", which includes a checklist for evaluating your own data with regard to the FAIR principles.
- How can research data be published?Hide
There are several options for publishing research data:
- publication in a research data repository
- publication as a data paper in a data journal
- publication as a supplement to an article
Research data repository: In some disciplines, established repositories are already available, which usually have established discipline-specific standards or requirements, for example with regard to the descriptive information of the data (metadata). Additionally, there are interdisciplinary, generic repositories that host data from different disciplines and therefore often have implemented generic (metadata) standards. Storing the data in a repository supports the visibility of the data and thus of the research output and improves its referencing by assigning a persistent identifier (for example DOI)
Data Paper: A data paper focuses on the description of data sets, which are ideally published in a trustworthy repository with a persistent identifier (PID) and are also linked to the data paper via the PID. In addition to abstract and introduction, typical components are a structured description of the data with supplementary information on the validation of the data set, information on the subsequent use of the data and on the availability of codes or software (code availability statement). Data papers can be published in a discipline-specific or interdisciplinary data journal and are sometimes also subject to peer review. Examples of data journals can be found in the data journal list at Forschungsdaten.org
Supplement: The data is published alongside a research article. It can be published as part of the article or - in case of recent publication models - as an independently citable data object (with PID) on a repository and linked to the associated publication via the PID.
Some publishers cooperate with individual repositories on the storage of research data and offer special conditions (such as free storage) for publishing the research data. When publishing, please make sure that research data remain accessible even if the rights of use have to be transferred to the publisher in context of the publication (cf. DFG Guidelines on the Handling of Research Data).
- Which criteria are helpful for choosing a suitable repository?Hide
Research data repositories offer different functionalities and should take into account the specific requirements of your data (data type, data access options...). The following criteria can help you choose a repository
- Is the repository established in the discipline? In discipline-specific repositories, the standards of the respective discipline are considered when publishing (meta-)data.
- Is the repository free of charge? Repositories work with different cost models, some offer the option of storing limited amounts of data free of charge.
- Are persistent identifiers (PID) used? PIDs improve the findability, citability and visibility of data.
- Are (discipline-specific) standards for metadata used? Suitable metadata improve the findability of the data, provide information about the research data even if the data itself is not publicly available (anymore) and enable links to other objects, such as publications or data.
- Which access options are available? Some repositories offer open access only, others also offer restriced access or embargo settings. Are licences available for the subsequent use of the data?
- Is the data stored long-term? Some repositories have implemented respective policies or guidelines.
- Is the repository certified? Certification can simplify the decision for a repository, as certain minimum standards need to be met to obtain such certifications (for example, the CoreTrustSeal for trustworthy data repositories or the nestor Seal for trustworthy digital archives).
- How to find a suitable repository?Hide
Choosing a suitable repository depends on the requirements and standards of the respective disciplin. In addition to the FAIR-Principles, the requirements of research funding bodies, for example with regard to open access or journal specifications, need to be taken into consideration. Ideally, the repository assigns a persistent identifier to the data which supports the findability, citability and visibility of the data and allows for a licence to be granted to specify the conditions for subsequent use of the data.
The following services might be of help finding a suitable repository:
- Registry of Research Data Repositories (Re3data.org): lists research data repositories available worldwide
- Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR): lists Open Access repositories available worldwide
- DFG research infrastructure portal (RIsources): lists various academic research infrastructures, including research data repositories
If suitable discipline-specific repositories are available, you should consider to store the data there, as discipline-specific standards contribute to better visibility, findability and reuse of the data.
If you have question about selecting a specific repository, feel free to reach out to the respective contact person from the FDM-team.
- Apart from subject-specific repositories, how else can I publish my data?Hide
If there is no subject-specific repository or data journal available to publish your data, you can use the Research Data Repository (RADAR). The University of Bayreuth has signed an agreement with this generic, cross-disciplinary service provider (see above). If the data are published via RADAR, the system offers a variety of functions, such as access to the data (landing page) and peer review for research data as a stand-alone publication or as a supplement to a traditional publication. Published data will be stored for at least 25 years, however the objective is unlimited storage. In any case, the data will not be deleted. A current price list for the publication of your data with RADAR can be found on the website of the project.
Before publishing your data in RADAR, you will have to enrich them with additional information (metadata) and transfer the data. The metadata of the published data will be under CC0 license and can be accessed via the DataCite metadata store. The metadata is also made available for harvesting via OAI-PMH. The service provides a form for the allocation of metadata via the RADAR plattform. Alternatively, it is possible to save the metadata offline as an XML file before uploading it to the RADAR platform. The packages are put together on a web platform using the temporary memory of the RADAR platform.
To apply for access to RADAR, please contact Dr. Thomas Martin of the IT Service Centre.
- What is a DOI, and how do I get one for my data?Hide
"The allocation of a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) makes it possible to access objects uniquely in the long term. Similar to an ISBN, a DOI can identify and locate object. In this way, scientific findings can be cited in a reliable and standardized form." (Explanation taken from TIB Hannover - DOI-Service)
If you are not able to publish your data and get a DOI allocation via a central (subject-specific) repository, the University of Bayreuth provides a server for digital objects (DO@UBT). This gives you the opportunity to save your data and provides flexibility with regard to entering descriptive information (metadata). It is already possible to request a DOI for data published in DO@UBT
The University of Bayreuth has signed an agreement with TIB Hannover allowing us to allocate DOIs and register them there. Allocation of a DOI requires descriptive information (metadata) on the data object in the form of an XML file (scheme and example) and a permanent landing page to serve as an overview page for the data objects.
Required fields for metadata are:
Entering a landing page for the data is obligatory. This is accessed when terminating the DOI and is available to the general public. It must be provided even if the object is no longer available or access is restricted.
Please contact Dr. Thomas Martin for additional information on individual DOI allocation at the University of Bayreuth.
- Which licencing options are available?Hide
The reuse of research data is an essential component of the FAIR principles. Licences specify the conditions under which research data can be shared and reused. Depending on the repository, different licencing options may be available or a specific licence may be mandatory.
Please keep in mind, that research data is not always suitable for publication, e.g. in the case of confidential or data-protection-sensitive information. Researchers decide on their own responsibility if and where to publish their data, taking ethical guidelines as well as legal regulations into consideration, cf. guidelines of the EU commission for publishing research data: „as open as possible, as closed as necessary“.
Open licences for research data include for example the Creative Commons (CC) licence models (suitable for research data as of version 4.0) or the GNU General Public Licence (GPL) (for software).
Tools for choosing open licences:
- What is author identification?Hide
Persistent identifiers (PIDs) for authors ensure that (data) publications can be unambiguously linked to an author, even if the author's name changes or the author's name is spelled differently. Thereby PIDs for authors contribute to improving the visibility of one's own research activities.
Identifiers for authors:
- ResearcherID: platform-specific identifier for Web of Science (WoS) that is automatically assigned to an author when their publication is listed in WoS.
- Scopus Author ID: platform-specific identifier for Scopus that is automatically assigned to an author when their publication is listed in Scopus.
- Gemeinsame Normdatei (GND) - ID (Integrated Authority File):
The GND lists authority data for corporate bodies, conferences, persons and more. This data is compiled and curated by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB) (=German national library), the German library networks as well as other institutions.
A GND-ID for a person can be searched in the
or in the GND Explorer (Beta)
- Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID): Researchers have to create and manage their ORCID profile themselves. This way, researchers retain control over their data and its accessibility. With an ORCID-ID, bibliographical data relating to research data or publications from different sources can be linked in ORCID and the publication list can be organised at a central location.The ORCID ID is a 16-digit persistent identifier that can be used across platforms. Different person identifiers can be added to one's own ORCID profile.
Further information can be found on the library's webpage on author identification. The assignment of persistent and unambiguous identifiers for authors is becoming increasingly important and is already required by some publishers or research data repositories during the submission process. The use of ORCID as a cross-platform and non-proprietary system is recommended by the University of Bayreuth.
- What is data sharing and which advantages does it offer?Hide
Data sharing means that the data is made available to others, however it does not necessarily mean that the data is publicly accessible to all (open data). Sharing data can also be done with certain restrictions, for example only after registration, only after an additional request with the owner of the data or with certain embargo periods. Which options are available depends on the individual repository. If you need specific access restrictions for your data, you should think about a suitable repository at an early stage of your project.
In accordance with the University of Bayreuth's Research Data Management Guidelines researchers decide within the legal framework if, when and how (under which conditions) their research data are made publicly accessible while taking into consideration the conventions of the discipline. The University recommends its members to make research data publicly available as early as possible in line with the Principles for the Handling of Research Data of the Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen (= alliance of science organisations in Germany) dated 24 June 2010 and the G8 Science Ministers Statement (12 June 2013).
Sharing and publishing research data beyond the members of your own research group is often included in the open science requirements of some funding bodies and
- promotes scientific discourse and transparency (culture of open science)
- promotes scientific innovation (subsequent reuse of data, new or additional hypotheses)
- strengthens scientific integrity
- enables new cooperation
- increases visibility of research results
- reduces costs
- What should you consider before sharing your research data?Hide
Research data is not always suitable for publication, e.g. in the case of confidential or data-protection-sensitive information. Researchers decide if, when and how (under which conditions) their research data are made publicly accessible taking ethical guidelines as well as legal regulations into consideration, cf. guidelines of the EU commission for publishing research data: „as open as possible, as closed as necessary“.
Reasons that limit or even prevent data sharing include:
- Data have commercial value (patent, copyright)
- Data are sensitive for security reasons
- Data are of a personal/confidential nature (data privacy protection, DSGVO)
- Licencing requirements that only allow the sharing of data under certain conditions
- Contracts with third parties that restrict or do not allow the sharing of data
- Other sensitive information (see publication on Biodiversity Data)
A detailed overview on legal questions concerning research data and additional information on data privacy laws and copyright laws can be found on forschungsdaten.info „Rechte und Pflichten“ including a decision guidance on the most important legal aspects concerning publishing research data. Support with legal issues concerning the publication of research data is also provided by this graphic „Urheberrechtliche Fragestellungen für die Veröffentlichung von Forschungsdaten“ (last updated 12/2020) by the TU Dresden (german language only).
- How to protect sensitive information in repositories?Hide
Depending on the repository, there might be different options of restricting access to sensitive data:
- Signing a general user agreement (e.g. exclusively for scientific purposes) or other licencing agreements
- Access is limited to registered users
- Access is granted only after approval by the data provider
- Data are available only after an embargo period
- For very sensitive data only the metadata (the description of the data) can be published; access to data is possible via safe room / on site
Example for archives/repositories with graduated access concepts or safe rooms:
- What should be considered when citing research data?Hide
Citing research data is part of good scientific practice. You can find detailed information and some principles on citing research data for users of data and authors of data on the following webpages: "Zitieren von Daten" Initiative forschungsdaten.info (german language).
Our advice during the project
FDM@UBT, a cooperation of the Office of Research Support, the University Library, and the IT Service Centre, is pleased to offer:
- support on publishing and re-use of research data (repositories, data journals)
- support with the DOI allocation when publishing research data
- advice on the long-term availability of research data (metadata allocation, archiving, and using RADAR).