Research data sharing and guidelines

Data sharing can mean publishing research data in a repository, publishing data online, or even just sharing data with colleagues within or outside WUR. The WUR data sharing guidelines aim to help you to decide if the research data can be shared and which type of access is possible.

WUR data policy and FAIR principles

The WUR data policy aims to ensure continuity of access to research data by safe storage and sharing of research data. Furthermore, to make research data findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable, and verifiable. WUR aims to follow the FAIR principles for all research data where possible.

Research data should be ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’. Several factors determine whether research data should be made open, restricted or closed. Data should be open in order to facilitate its reusability and to accelerate research, but at the same time data should be restricted or closed when making data openly accessible is against legitimate interests. The WUR research data sharing infographic below, is developed to help researchers determine whether research data can be shared openly or not. Please, view the infographic at DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10283488 to access the information via the information icons (which is not accessible in the image below).

Flow chart 'How to share my data?' in Data sharing @WUR: as open as possible, as closed as needed

Legitimate restrictions are for example privacy, public safety or ethical restrictions, intellectual property rights of WUR or others, or commercial interests. Detailed considerations on the strategic or commercial interests to share research data are laid down in the WUR Guidelines on Value Creation with Software & Data, which can provide guidance in how you can achieve maximum societal and commercial benefit with research data.

When access to research data needs to be restricted or closed, the data still needs to be safely archived within WUR. This means that the data should be archived in a system that fits the data classification taking into account the access management to the data (e.g. restricted to certain persons).

Practical guidelines and further information

Within WUR, the following practical data sharing guidelines apply:

  • Sharing open research data. If you want to make your research data publicly available, have a look at public options at the WUR Repository Finder or at the WUR supported services for publishing research.
  • Sharing restricted research data outside WUR. If you want to share research data with specific people or individuals outside WUR, agree upon a data sharing agreement (DSA) prior to sharing the data, to the extent this is not covered in an existing agreement. A DSA should address the topics listed in this document: download). Please contact your legal department (intranet WUR, login required, under 'Who can help me draft a contract?') for further assistance in creating a DSA.
  • If you are sharing personal data, this data is always either restricted or closed and additional requirements apply to transfer of such data. There are specific templates (intranet WUR, login required) available when personal data is being shared. Please contact your privacy officer for further assistance.


Contact for support with sharing data. For more detailed information about research data sharing, legal aspects regarding the rightsholder, and licences, visit the WUR Copyright Information Point (CIP).