Publishing your dataset in a repository

Publishing research data in a data repository supports data reuse, verifiability and increased research impact. WUR Library can help you publish your datasets in a data repository. Here you will find an overview of how to publish your data in a repository and the support that WUR library can provide.

Note: WUR research data policy stipulates that all datasets underlying a publication must be archived for at least 10 years.

Data publishing services at Wageningen University & Research

Publishing, registering and linking your dataset
Disciplines like bioinformatics have a long tradition of sharing and archiving their data through NCBIEBI, etc. Some groups (CGNISRIC) have a mandate to serve as a data repository for their discipline. If such an option is not standard in your research field, Data Management Support can help you publish and register your datasets at the certificated data repositories DANS EASY or 4TU.Centre for Research Data. We then also register your datasets in Staff Publications and link them to your appropriate publications. This way the visibility of both your datasets and your publications is enhanced.

To publish and register your datasets at DANS EASY or 4TU.Centre for Research Data we need the following information:

The data files themselves

To ensure that the data can still be read and used over a long period of time, the data needs to be stored in a sustainable open format (see 'File formats').

Data documentation

We would like to receive a Readme.txt file and a file Methodology.txt. These files should contain enough information to enable the data's reuse.

You can add one Readme file as data documentation to your whole data package and/or you can add separate Readme files for each individual data file. In the Readme file you do the following:

  • describe the data that each file contains;
  • define column headings and row labels, data codes (including missing data) and measurement units for tabular data;
  • list whether associated data files are available and if so, where they're available;
  • list whom to contact with questions.

In the Methodology.txt file, you describe the data collection process/method. For source code for example, you should describe the environment required to use the files (operating system, version, etc.), detailed set-up instructions, detailed run instructions, and an expected output description.


Metadata allow the dataset to be found. We ask for the following metadata:

  • Title of the dataset
  • Creator(s) with affiliation(s)
  • Contributor(s) with affiliation(s)
  • Description (short, 2-3 sentences)
  • Keywords
  • Related publication (preferably with doi)
  • Spatial coverage (if applicable)
  • Temporal coverage (if applicable)
  • Licence

To link your dataset(s) to the publications that used your data files, we also need you to specify the publications involved. We can then ensure your research output is properly linked and visible through Staff Publications.

Note: WUR research data policy stipulates that all datasets underlying a publication must also be registered in Pure. As a result they become visible in Staff Publications as research output.

Registering and linking your source code
If you publish your source code through Git@WUR and want to have it linked to your appropriate publications, contact Data Management Support

Getting an unique identifier for your dataset
When a dataset is published in a data repository, a unique, persistent identifier is usually assigned to it. Such an identifier will allow your dataset to be cited. Journal publishers may require such a persistent identifier to make sure that the data is accessible. The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is the best-known identifier in academia. Wageningen University & Research Library has a subscription with Crossref to assign DOIs. If you need a unique persistent identifier for your project that you cannot get by storing your data in on one of the services that we mention on this webpage, contact Data Management Support

Other data publishing services

There are many more data publishing services besides the above-mentioned DANS EASY and 4TU Centre for Research Data. You can choose from various disciplinary and multidisciplinary repositories. Click here for a table in which we list important features of several multidisciplinary services that WUR researchers can use for data publishing.

So which repository should I choose?
There are no Wageningen University & Research guidelines on which service to use, but we can give some recommendations:

  • If a certain service is embedded in the submission workflow of a journal to which you want to submit your article, it may be convenient to choose that service.
  • If there is a disciplinary service for your field of research that can accommodate your data, that should be your first choice.
  • If your data is to be stored at a multidisciplinary service, you can choose from the services in this table.

Note: If you choose to publish your data at DANS or 4TU Centre for Research Data, the data file preparation as well as storage is a free service offered to you by Data Management Support. If you publish your data elsewhere, Data Management Support can advise you on data file preparation, but the final deposition of the dataset will be done by you. Storage costs at such other repositories will also not be covered.

Cost of data publishing

Data publishing has two cost elements:

Preparing the data for publishing
When you publish your data in the data archives of DANS EASY or 4TU.Centre for Research Data, Data Management Support can assist you with preparing your data for publishing. Individual researchers aren't charged for this service. Adding appropriate metadata and giving advice on data documentation is part of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) Wageningen University & Research - Library has with the Science Groups. If you want to publish your data in another data repository, Data Management Support can give you advice on preparing your files for data publishing free of charge. We will not actually prepare the data files for deposition.

Sustainable data storage
As a rule there is no cost if you publish data through us at DANS or 4TU.Centre for Research Data. In the exceptional case that there is a cost we will consult with you beforehand. The costs of storage in other data repositories will be for the group's own account.