Where to preserve research data?

The WUR data policy requires data underlying publications to be preserved for at least 10 years. Where to preserve data, depends on its sensitivity. For example, when data cannot be published in a repository, they need to be archived internally on the WUR server (W-drive).

Have a look at the Data sharing infographic and the options below to determine where you can preserve research data.

  • In a data repository

Data and related metadata can be deposited in a public data repository. There are no WUR guidelines on which repository to use, but the following points should be considered when choosing a repository:

- Disciplinary vs. multi-disciplinary repositories
Disciplinary repositories know how to handle and curate specific data types, they provide specific metadata standards improving interoperability and the data is easier found by peers within your research field. If there is a disciplinary repository for your field of research that can accommodate the data, that should be your first choice. For example, disciplines like bioinformatics have a long tradition of publishing their data in NCBI, EBI, etc. If there is no disciplinary service for your field, you can choose a multidisciplinary repository, e.g. the DANS Data Stations, 4TU.ResearchData, Zenodo.

- Data repositories supported by WUR Library
The WUR data librarians (contact data@wur.nl) can publish data for you at the DANS Data Stations, 4TU.ResearchData or Zenodo. Open Access to the data is encouraged in these repositories, but restricted access is also possible. Check this page on how to publish in these repositories.

- A data repository supported by a journal
Many journals have an agreement with a data repository, e.g. Dryad or Figshare, where you can deposit data during the publication process of your article. It may be convenient to choose that service, but this is not obligatory. Usually only Open Access is possible.

Do you need help choosing a repository? Have a look at the WUR Repository Finder.

  • On a project website

This is suitable when you want to make data that is still evolving available to others. If you wish to publish an article about this data, you can publish a version of the data in a data repository. Also remember to deposit the final version of the data in a data repository when the website ceases to exist. Make sure to add a licence to the data on the website stipulating what can be done with the data and how to cite the data.

  • On a shared WUR server

When data should remain closed or when restricted access options follow from the WUR data sharing guidelines you may archive the data on a shared WUR server (W-drive). Make sure that only people with the appropriate rights can access the shared folder. If you need help, ask the Data Desk. Note, however, that restricted access may also be possible for WUR Library supported data repositories (see above). Additionally, one could still decide to publish the metadata about the data even though the actual data is not openly available.

  • As supplementary information to your research article

Supplementary information files may be uploaded with the manuscript to the publisher's website. Supplementary information may contain tables and figures that are too large to incorporate in the article itself, or extra information on methods or materials. Regardless of the content of the supplementary information, check whether you aren't transferring copyrights to the publisher when you upload supplementary information files. Also, note that data becomes less findable and cannot be cited separately when put in the supplementary information. It is recommended to publish data in a data repository (no matter the size of the data).

  • As a data article (i.e. a description of the data) in a data journal

Large data used for another purpose than their original purpose, may be suitable for a data article. A data article is a peer reviewed article describing openly accessible data for future reuse. Most well-known publishers publish a data journal. Wageningen Environmental Research and WUR Library publish a data journal for the agricultural sciences: Open Data Journal for Agricultural Research (ODJAR).


Questions? Don't hesitate to contact data@wur.nl.