Any scientist can upload data to 4TU.ResearchData. This can be raw data, processed data or specific data underlying a publication. An overview of the criteria and practices for collection development can be found in our Data Collection Policy. You can also share and present your research in Collections.
Before uploading in 4TU.ResearchData, please read the deposit guidelines for more details and practical information on our upload procedure.
We strongly recommend you to submit a README file along with your dataset. A README file should describe what data is included in your dataset and ensure that future users of your
data will be able to easily understand your data files. If you are not sure where to start, read the Guidelines for creating a README file.
Check the Data Collection Policy if you are unsure whether your dataset will be accepted for inclusion in the repository.
Once you have logged in, your own My data page will be created for you. Through the tab My data you can drag and drop files of up to 10 GB.
Follow these steps to upload and publish your dataset:
1. Create an item (dataset):
Go to your My data page and select the ‘+ Create a new item’ button from the top left (or just drag and drop your file from the browser). This opens the upload page, where you can add both files and metadata to the item.
2. Add files:
You add files to an item by dragging files from your local drive and dropping them in the box at the top of the upload page. Alternatively, you can click the browse link in the box at the top of the upload page and select files from your local drive.
3. Add metadata:
Metadata (information about your dataset) allows others to find and use your dataset. Therefore, it is important that the metadata of your dataset is complete and understandable. Tips on how to fill out each of the fields can also be found on the right side of the screen.
Once you have completed at least all mandatory fields, select Publish (bottom of the screen)
Your item will undergo a metadata quality review before it’s made publicly available. This is to ensure the validity of files and metadata. Make sure everything you have submitted is accurate - once it’s published, it’s permanently available.
Within three working days, your dataset will appear in 4TU.ResearchData.
When working with large data files - most web browsers can only cope with approximately 10 GB - using the desktop uploader or the figshare API may be more convenient for you. For more information click here.
Every researcher can upload up to 10 GB of data per year to the 4TU.ResearchData-archive free of charge. By default, this data will be available via Open Access and be stored for a minimum of 15 years. Your data will be stored in three different locations to ensure its safety.
- Are you a researcher at Eindhoven University of Technology, the University of Twente or TU Delft and do you have research data from ongoing or completed research?
The costs for depositing up to 1 TB of your research data will be reimbursed by your university. For depositing larger data collections, a discount of 20% on the total storage price will be applied.
- Are you a researcher at another research institution and do you have research data from ongoing or completed research?
You can deposit up to 10 GB of data free of charge. For depositing larger data collections, we recommend to consult the research data management service desk of your own institution.
Descriptive metadata are indispensable for the preservation, retrieval and re-use of datasets. They provide answers to questions concerning the person creating the data, the subject of the data, the type of file, geographic information and other aspects. In other words, metadata are ‘data about data’.
Metadata make use of international standards for data exchange. This ensures that the information and the associated dataset can be found by search engines.
Substantive metadata are important primarily for the user of the data. For example, consider a codebook that tells how the data should be read or interpreted. We strongly encourage you to add such information in the form of a README file.
When uploading, you will be asked to enter the following descriptive metadata:
Main researchers involved in producing the data.
Name or title by which the dataset is known.
Discipline(s) or field(s) of research to which the dataset belongs.
Item type *
Defines the content of the item (dataset)
Subject, keyword or key phrase describing the dataset.
Concise description of the contents of the dataset. Describe the research objective, type of research, method of data collection and type of data.
Name of the organization that provides financial support for your research. This field is integrated with Dimensions, which allows you to lookup and select funder and grant information from a comprehensive list using the grant name, code or funder body. If the grant code is not in the list, you will still be able to add free text.
References (links) to any relevant content or external sources that help describe the resource.
Terms and conditions on how the dataset may be used. Our recommended licence is CC0 as it makes your data maximally reusable.
Name of the organization that contributed to the creation of the resource.
Holder of the data (4TU.ResearchData)
The primary language of the resource. When no language is added, 4TU.ResearchData will automatically assign ‘English’.
Indicate the dates to which the data refer. Enter the year, or the beginning and ending date.
The geographic area to which the data refer (e.g. municipality, town/city, region, country)
Geographic longitude in decimal degrees, East is positive, West is negative. Values: -180 to 180.
Geographic latitude in decimal degrees, North is positive, South is negative. Values: -90 to 90.
Format of the data file(s), e.g. the media type like image/jpeg or a description like “g-zipped shape files”.
Link to the data that is an integral part of the current item, e.g. an OpenDAP catalog with netCDF files on our OpenDAP server.
URL of the dataset from which the current item was derived.
URL of exactly the same data. This can be a copy in another location or an alternative URL that redirects to the current item.
Auxiliary information necessary to interpret the data, such as explanations of codes, abbreviations, or algorithms used, should be included as accompanying documentation.
Read more in the Deposit guidelines and Guidelines for creating a README file.
Previous studies have indicated that publications containing links to the underlying data are cited more frequently than are publications without such links. By storing your research data in 4TU.Centre for Research Data archive, you can encourage the reuse of your data for new research or verification.
Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are used to create a permanent, stable link to the dataset. Even if the location of the dataset changes, the cited dataset can always be retrieved.
Every dataset in the archive of 4TU.ResearchData is provided with a DOI (through DataCite Netherlands). 4TU.ResearchData archives the data in a permanent and sustainable manner, fully according to the guidelines of the international Data Seal of Approval.
More than one DOI
DOIs can be assigned at every level of detail or size within a publication. For example, a DOI can be assigned to an entire data collection, as well as to each component within the data collection. In the choice of which levels should be registered with a DOI, researchers should proceed from the expectations of future data users. Is it likely that the objects within the data collection will be cited?
Link between publication and dataset
To promote the visibility and the sharing of your datasets, we recommend referring to the DOIs of your datasets in your articles or PhD thesis. You can even reserve a DOI in advance.
The choice of file format is of essential importance in order to ensure that the research data will remain usable and ‘legible’ in the future. 4TU.ResearchData therefore strongly encourages the use of standard, exchangeable or open file formats. For the preferred formats, 4TU.ResearchData guarantees that the research data will remain accessible and that they will be migrated or converted if necessary.
4TU.ResearchData provides two levels of support for file formats:Full preservation:
- All reasonable measures will be taken to ensure that the file formats remain legible and usable. These measures include migration, normalisation and conversion.
- Bit-level preservation: Access to the data object will be offered in the file format that was originally provided.
NetCDF and OPeNDAP
Most of the datasets in the 4TU.ResearchData archive are coded in netCDF (Network Common Data Form), which is both a data model and a data format which is very efficient for multi-dimensional array-oriented data. This data can be temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed and direction in both vector and raster format. Although generic, netCDF is mostly and widely used in atmospheric sciences and oceanography.
The format is self-describing, i.e. it includes general metadata as well as detailed metadata about variables, dimensions and units used, in a fully machine-readable way (as opposed to, say, a spreadsheet with column headings which is not really machine-readable).
Access to netCDF data (and HDF5) is further enhanced by serving the data via the OPeNDAP protocol. OPeNDAP stands for Open-source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol. A major advantage using OPeNDAP is the ability to retrieve subsets of files without the need to download the whole dataset, and also the ability to aggregate series of data files, e.g. a time series, into one ‘virtual’ dataset. OPeNDAP makes it possible for datasets to be directly approachable through programming languages.
If NetCDF data are pasted together with OPeNDAP, it is easier to perform a ‘query’ that will return an accurately defined selection out of the data. It allows users to view a section of the data, thus saving a considerable amount of download time.
Our data experts will be happy to tell you more.
Additional information about netCDF is here available and about OPeNDAP at https:www.opendap.org. 4TU.ResearchData has published a report on its use of NetCDF. Our OPeNDAP server can be reached at https://opendap.4tu.nl/.
As a data producer, you will be asked to consent to a Deposit Agreement. By doing so, you grant 4TU.ResearchData a non-exclusive licence to store the data and make them available to third parties.
When depositing your data you are required to select a licence for your data as part of the deposit process. A licence will define what others may or may not do with your data. Read our guidance for more information on the licence types we offer.
We recommend data to be "open” whenever possible. However, you can also embargo the data (delay access for a specified time) or restrict who gets access to data. Data should be restricted if they are of sensitive nature (e.g. still containing personal information as you couldn't fully anonymise the data). For guidance, consult the GDPR policy and guidelines of your home institute on how to handle sensitive and personal data.
The following access levels can be applied in 4TU.ResearchData:
There are no restrictions on access to the data; anyone can view and download a copy.
This ease of access makes your data more likely to be reused and makes it possible for others to verify the results of your research. Open access is the best choice for publishing data that aren’t confidential..
Open access is the default setting for research data in 4TU.ResearchData by which all datasets will be directly accessible to others, free of charge. The dataset will be placed in the public domain or made available under a suitable licence.
Embargo is a period during which a dataset, that will ultimately be made public, is unavailable and not accessible to anyone else.
In some cases it may be preferable to delay publication of your data, e.g. until your journal article is published, or for commercial reasons when filing for a patent.
When you want to apply an embargo date on your dataset, select "apply embargo" in the metadata form, and add the date and reason in the appropriate boxes.
4TU.ResearchData will restrict access to the data until the end of the embargo period; at which time, the content will automatically become publicly available.
Restricted access, whereby you set conditions on when and how access is granted, allows your data to be securely reused, protecting the data for commercial, ethical or legal reasons. If your data are sensitive, and the sensitive information can’t be removed without the dataset losing value, then restricted access is a good option to choose when publishing.
When you need to restrict access to your data, select "make file(s) confidential" in the metadata form. Then add the reason and contact details of the person to whom others can request access to the data. 4TU.ResearchData will only make the files in the dataset available to users who have been granted permission by the depositor.
In addition to the above access levels, it is also possible to create:
A metadata-only record;
For example when you’ve previously published the data elsewhere, but you need to publish a record also in a repository to fulfill funder or institutional requirements. The metadata-only record should provide a link to the original location of the data.
Need to create a metadata-only record? Just click “metadata record only” at the top of the metadata form, and add the address where your dataset can be found.
A private link/URL;
You may need to share your dataset (e.g.for peer review purposes) before it is actually published. To do this, click “generate private link” in the metadata form. You will be able to send the resulting private link to, for example, the peer reviewers.
Via the Collections tab you can collate data under a theme. They can be either private or public, and are assigned a DOI when published.
Follow these steps to create and publish a collection:
1. Create a Collection
Go to the Collections tab and select the ‘+ Create a new collection’ button from the top left. This opens the form where you can add metadata to the collection. Complete the sections with a green dot next to them to make it public. The more information you provide, the more discoverable your Collection will be.
Click Save changes once you’ve completed the form.
2. Add data
There are two ways to add data to a Collection:
- Once you’ve created the Collection, select ‘Add public items’ or ‘Add from My data’. If you select the first option, you can search for items across all instances of figshare, or search for items only from 4TU.ResearchData. Select those you wish to add to your collection and select ‘Add selected item’. If you select the second option, your search is limited to those items you have created in your own My data area.
- When you have found a public item, select '+ Collect' and choose the collection to which you want to add the item.
3. Publish a Collection
Once you’ve collected your data, you can make your collection public by selecting the Manage gear wheel on the right side of the screen and selecting ‘Publish collection’. Once you have published a collection, it is permanent and cannot be unpublished.