Documentation and accessibility of research data on which publications are based are increasingly seen as an element of good scientific practice. The free availability of research data (open data) also aims at preventing the repeated collection of data, and at enabling the re-use of research data. More and more funding bodies are demanding that data from research projects be made freely available (open access). More and more publishers and journals provide for research data underlying the publication to be linked and made accessible as supplementary material in order to ensure replicability of research results. In addition, many disciplines now have their own publication venues for the publication of data sets in the form of so-called data journals. Universities are increasingly relying on the skills of data stewards to steer research data management in orderly fashion.
Research data can be published and permanently archived by storing them in a suitable (certified), publisher-independent repository. In addition to subject-specific or institutional repositories, cross-disciplinary repositories such as Zenodo are also suitable for this purpose; an international directory of repositories is re3data.org. At the University of Graz, AUSSDA (for the social sciences) and GAMS (for the digital humanities) are available as subject-specific repositories; the Wegener Center operates the WegenerNet data portal (climate data).
If publication of research data is not possible or desirable, it can be described with metadata that is as comprehensive as possible and archived permanently to qualify as FAIRdata. If research data are reused, guidelines on data citation such as the Data Citation Principles must be observed in the spirit of good scientific practice.
Whether research data can be made freely accessible and re-usable depends largely on legal and ethical conditions (copyright, licensing, data protection law): for the University of Graz, the guidelines are set in the policy for research data management. In principle, researchers are encouraged to publish their data as long as there is no violation of other agreements and interests. To ensure legal certainty for subsequent use, research data should be published under a free license, for example Creative Commons licenses.
Helmut Werner Klug
Coordination Research dat management
Phone:+43 316 380 - 1560
ORCID iD: ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7461-5820