To link your data to a publication effectively you usually need a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Once you have deposited the data, you will be able to get one and add a data access statement to your publication. Such a statement should explain where and how data can be obtained and, if not, why. Higher education institutions often share examples of data access statements, so check your local website or perform a web search to find out more.
Getting a DOI
Linking data to a publication is relatively simple. The key is obtaining a DOI, and you could do so by:
- Depositing data in disciplinary repositories
- Depositing data in third-party or generalist repositories
- Sharing data along with a journal publication
- Depositing data in institutional repositories
- Publishing data in a data journal.
Choosing the right option to share data
It is usually wise to go for a disciplinary repository, if any are available in your field. This gives you visibility among your peers and allows you to spot similar work that might be relevant. Otherwise, institutional or generalist repositories are a good alternative to deposit research data. Institutional repositories are most often used for articles, theses and dissertations, but they are increasingly accepting other research outputs including data. You can check re3data , SpringerNature Scientific Data’s recommendations , or Research Pipeline to find appropriate options to deposit your data. Alternatively, have a look at the dedicated section in the toolkit.
You might find that research data is best shared alongside (one of) its accompanying publication(s). In other cases, this is mandated by academic journals. Either way, the best approach to achieve this is to deposit the data in a repository and then include its DOI in the article (e.g. in the form of a citation or in a formal data availability statement), so as to establish a clear link between the publication and any supporting information.
You can also share your data, accompanied by a data article, on data journals . The article would discuss the data collection and processing methods used, particularly in the case of large datasets. This is the most burdensome option, as the data would go through peer-review (while in the other options you are free to deposit what you wish). However, trust in your work will be higher, and other researchers may feel more confident when reusing the data you shared.
Finally, you could share research data on your project webpage, which we do not recommend as it would not have a DOI but just a “regular” URL. If you wish to pursue this, we suggest that you deposit the research data in a repository and only share a DOI on the project website. The risk of broken links on a dated website may be detrimental to your reputation and should be avoided.