Data Sharing guidelines

The WUR Data policy aims to ensure continuity and verifiability of research. It has a strong focus on keeping data safe and making data findable and accessible (two main characteristics of FAIR data). FAIR, however also includes the R of re-usability. Data can only be re-used when data is shared. The Data Sharing guidelines aim to help you to decide on how to share your data. Funders require that data is made ‘As open as possible, as closed as needed’ and WUR also follows this as a guiding principle in data sharing. 

How to share data when the original source data contain data from third parties (other than WUR)?

WUR has no say over these data (although data ownership is a complex issue, WUR is no owner over third party data) , therefor only the third party which provided the data can decide on the data sharing. We strongly recommend that you make a Data Sharing agreement with the each data delivering party, even if there are many, at the start of the project. We provide a framework for such an agreement which is created by WUR corporate legal. Please contact your local legal officer for assistance in customizing the framework for your research project, or ask for help at

Different levels of data sharing

The WUR guidelines for Data Sharing provide three levels of sharing: Open, Restricted and Closed. Each of these levels come with some degree of flexibility.

Levels of openness.jpg

Open data means that data and the metadata describing the data are findable and accessible under a creative common license CC BY license, or under a CC BY-SA-NC-ND (or any combination of). WUR has explicitly not chosen to include the public domain CC0 license in its guidelines, in order to minimally acknowledge the scientific effort of the WUR researcher.

Restricted access to the data means that the metadata describing the data are findable and accessible (under any CC license), however to access the data special conditions may apply. For example the re-user of the data must make himself know to you, and explain for what purpose he wants access to the data. In some cases access to the data may require payment. If you share WUR data based on the restricted access conditions, ask for support to create a data sharing agreement with the data user.

Closed access to the data means that the data is only accessible in very special cases, for example for verification purposes (transparency) when e.g. scientific integrity is questioned. Metadata can most of the time be made findable and accessible. There are some very rare cases (for example when metadata unavoidably include personal data) where metadata is also closed. In this latter case metadata and data are solely accessible to the PI of the research and the management (Data Steward) of the group.

How to share data collected or created by WUR research

In the WUR data policy it is defined that WUR is the owner of the data created or collected under WUR contract by WUR researchers. However there might be third parties (like funders) who also claim (partial) ownership. WUR support that data is shared as open as possible, as closed as needed. The flowchart guides your with a couple of questions to the level of ‘openess’ in sharing data.


Now you know how to share, this is where you should publish the data

Ask for help in data publishing from or check for more information on publishing your data set in a repository.

Open data with CC license can be published at 4TU.Research data, DANS, NCBI, or any other approved sustainable data archive

Restricted access data can be published in any sustainable data archive which facilitates restricted access. We support 4TU.Research data and DANS.

Closed access data should be published on a WUR server (W:\\drive). Set the appropriate rights to the drive (only those who should have access can view the files). Make sure to register the data in Pure (or ask the datadesk to do this for you) when the metadata are meant to be findable.