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.

It is useful to publish your data in a repository that supports FAIR Data. The checklist in the blog post More Credit Through Open Research Data: How to recognize a FAIR repository will help you to recognize a FAIR repository. For tips on selecting a FAIR repository, see the blog post More Awareness Through Open Research Data: How to Find a FAIR 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.