Selecting the Suitable Repository for Research Data

There are two different types of repositories:

  • Specialist repository
  • Generic repository
  • Institutional repository, such as a repository in a higher education institution

The first thing you should do is to find out if a suitable specialist repository for your research data exists. See “Data repositories and data portals

If the use of a subject-specific repository is not possible, you should check if a generic repository or an institutional repository could be a useful place to store your data. Pay attention to possible requirements of your discipline-specific community, your funding agencies, your federal state, your publisher and similar. You thereby ensure that you select the best repository.

You should check the following points before finally deciding on a repository:

  • the conditions of use for the repository including the licences, such as whether the repository allows all interested parties free access to the data without restrictions,
  • the types and formats of data accepted; the flexibility of the file format,
  • whether it is possible to deposit several versions of a dataset,
  • the guarantees given in relation to archiving and long-term access,
  • how stable the repository is (funding mechanisms to ensure permanent availability of the data),
  • security measures to protect the datasets and all confidential information among other things,
  • whether it is free-of-charge or chargeable to deposit data, and whether any costs could be paid for you by your own (funding) institution.