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Publish research data

Make your data findable, usable and citable

Ready to publish your data via the University? Fill in the Data Publication Request form and we’ll be in touch.

When publishing data, the FAIR principles (data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable) should be taken into account to ensure that data is published in a way that is usable to researchers not involved in the initial project. If you’re publishing data at the request of a journal publisher, check to see if there are specific requirements for how data relating to an article published in their journal is made available.

Data publication checklist

Each of the practices below should be addressed when publishing a dataset. If you need assistance with this, contact our data publication specialists.

  1. Describe your data: Publish a thorough description of your data along with the dataset so that others will be able to understand and re-use your data. Find out more information here.
  2. Use the best file format: Publish your data in an open or standard file format so that everyone will be able to open your dataset. If you have to publish your data in a file format that needs specific software, include this information as part of the dataset description. Find out more information here.
  3. License your data: A copyright license on your data will mean that your data is attributed to you if it’s re-used and will allow you to put some restrictions on how your data may be re-used, if needed. Find out more information here.
  4. Get a persistent identifier: Persistent identifiers, like a DOIs and ORCiDs, are the easiest way of linking items together, such as a dataset to a related publication. They also make citing data easier and increase the availability of citation metrics. Find out more here.
  5. Publish in the best place: There are many places to publish data. It’s up to you to decide if you want to publish in a discipline specific repository that contains data similar to yours, the University’s institutional repository (Sydney eScholarship), or a general repository such as Figshare. Find your best publishing option using the information below.

Publishing options

University repository
  • The Sydney eScholarship repository is the University's open access institutional repository. You should consider using the repository to archive and publish your research outputs if you have openly accessible datasets of less than 1.5GB, or if you wish to make pre or post-print copies of your publications available.

    If you’d like to publish your data via the Sydney eScholarship Repository, complete the Data Publication Request form and we’ll be in touch.

Discipline specific and general repositories
  • There are both discipline-specific and general repositories are available. Publishing in a discipline specific repository enhances the chance of your data being found and re-used by researchers in your field. Discipline-specific data repositories are also a great way for you to find existing datasets to use in your own research. The best way to find a discipline specific repository is to search online repository registries, such as the Open Access Directory (OAD) and the Registry of Research Data Repositories, or by talking to your colleagues, the Research Data team or your Academic Liaison Librarian to see what repositories they are aware of. When a discipline specific repository isn’t available, or if you want to reach a wider audience, you can publish in a general repository like Figshare or Mendeley Data.

Sydney Research Data Registry
  • The Sydney Research Data Registry is an online system for capturing information about research data collections created by researchers at the University of Sydney. The system can publish descriptive information about research data collections to the discovery service, Research Data Australia. To register your research data collection, contact the Research Data team.

Research Data Australia
  • You can improve the visibility of your data via Research Data Australia (RDA). RDA is a catalogue of Australian research data collections. Your data won’t be stored on RDA, but the site will provide a description of your dataset along with other relevant metadata and a link to where the data can be accessed. This makes RDA a good place to advertise your data for others to find and re-use.


Controlling access

When it comes to publishing your data, you have options when choosing the level of access you give to your data:

Open access: research data is open and freely available to be accessed and re-used

Controlled or mediated access: the metadata of your research data is openly available; access to your research data is granted upon request

Restricted access: the metadata of your research data is openly available; no access is given to the research data

Embargoes: a specific date that you can apply to a dataset record to specify when the data can be released as open or mediated access. The embargo date could, for example, make the research data restricted until an associated research paper is published.