Open Access to research data



In order to comply with the principles of good scientific practice, institutions should establish clear rules for managing research data, which include the requirement to archive the data for at least ten years.

Saarland University published the following policy for managing research data back in 2001:

‘Primary data that serves as the basis of academic publications shall be stored for ten years at the originating institution (laboratory, university or hospital department) insofar as this is necessary for verification purposes.’ (Official Bulletin of the Institutions of Higher Education in Saarland (Dienstblatt der Hochschulen des Saarlandes) 2001, p. 342)

What are the benefits?

  • Transparency and reproducibility: Verifiability and traceability of results

  • Secondary use: Data that has already been collected and published can be used for further research, including research in other disciplines.

  • Cost savings: The reuse of data that has already been collected avoids the need to repeat an investigation or to duplicate data collection efforts.

  • Data citation: When data is published it becomes possible to reference it and it can be cited in scholarly publications.

  • Citation frequency: When the datasets on which a scholarly article is based are published, these articles tend to be cited more frequently. (Information on the citation frequency of research datasets is available in the Data Citation Index database.)

Publication of research data

  • Multidisciplinary repositories of research data: figshare and Zenodo

  • Global directory of research data repositories: re3data – Registry of Research Data Repositories