Finding Open Data and/or Open Research Data

Open Data can refer to either open research data or other kinds of open data. In this knowledge base entry, we have described how you can find open research data.

Particularly good places to start searching for open research datasets are:

There are also further search strategies for open research data:

  • Find data that is mentioned or presented as supplementary material in journal essays. Search through scientific references in a targeted way and check if additional data are available.
  • Data journals are also a good source of research data and can be found using search machines, among other things.
  • Databases, to which university libraries and specialist libraries offer access, such as the ZBW.
  • The search tool DataSeer is a toolkit, which, thanks to artificial intelligence, offers new possibilities for finding datasets that are linked to research texts.
  • The search tool The Lens lists almost all patent information in the world as openly accessible and integrates it with academic and technical bibliographies as well as with regulatory data and economic data.
  • Major institutions or governments also collect useful data and make them available.

Under “data repositories and data portals”, we describe how you can find further forms of Open Data. Further search possibilities are described in a video from the Utrecht University: Research Data Management: Six ways to discover existing data.


There are tips on how you can find research data for your scientific paper (German) at “Auffinden. Zitieren. Dokumentierten. – Forschungsdaten in Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften”, [“Find. Cite. Document – research data in social sciences and economics”], an information service from the ZBW, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and the RatSWD (The German Data Forum).