Data Repositories - Liverpool Data Catalogue

Data repositories are the best place to preserve and publish research data.

Some funders provide data centres for the research data from projects they fund.  If your funder does not specify a specific repository there may be other disciplinary based repositories that can be used.

Recently, some journal publishers have started to specify repositories in which code and supplementary materials may be deposited. However, care should be taken to check the conditions under which this happens. Some publishers do not publish supplementary material under a creative commons licence but rather claim the copyright for themselves.

National or discipline specific repositories

The best place for the data you have prepared to share is either a national data centre or subject specific repository as they have the expertise and resources to deal with particular types of data.

Check your specific funder requirements or Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data)  for repositories in your subject area.

General purpose repositories

If there is no suitable subject repository there are a number of good multi-disciplinary repositories

  • Zenodo An open access data, software and publication repository for researchers who want to share multidisciplinary research results not available in other repositories. Developed and hosted by CERN. Suitable for all types of research data. Free to use with guaranteed funding from the EU for the foreseeable future.
  • FigShare Researchers can post all their data. The aim is to reduce the replication of research data unnecessarily. Free to use and owned by Macmillan Group.
  • Dryad 'An international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed articles in the basic and applied biosciences'. Supported by a consortium of journals and publishers such as Oxford University Press, Ecology Letters and BioMed Central. There is a small charge per deposit.
  • NERC Data Centres Several data centres run by the Natural Environment Research Council for environment-related data.
  • UK Data Service Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council
  • CKAN (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network): the Data Hub . This is an Open Knowledge Foundation project. Dataset collections spanning a wide range of scientific disciplines from medicine to earth sciences
  • The Council of European Social Science Data Archives 

Most data repositories will give you a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for your dataset, enabling it to be cited and tracked like a regular publication and can be included in any data statements.

The University of Liverpool needs to know about your data too. Please enter metadata about your data and the DOI into Liverpool Data Catalogue.  This provides another pathway for your data to be discovered.

Liverpool Data Catalogue

The Data Catalogue allows University of Liverpool researchers to create a record of their finalised research data, and save the data in a secure online environment.

The Catalogue holds two types of record:-

  • A discovery-only record – where your research data is held elsewhere, this type of record describes the data and records the DOI for discovery in a different repository.
  • A discover and data record – where you create a record to aid discovery and deposit the data as well into the catalogue. This process will create a unique DOI. This can be used in data citations and data statements.

Deposit your finalised research data into the Data Catalogue when there is no appropriate funder or discipline-specific data service for your data. The Data Catalogue is intended to complement, not compete with, other established data services.

It is always a good idea to link your datasets to any outputs based on the data. In the metadata about your datasets add the title of any output. Make those outputs openly accessible by depositing your author’s accepted manuscript into the Liverpool Repository via Liverpool Elements.

Datasets that you upload to the Data Catalogue do not go live straight away.  They are checked by RDM team.

Documenting data in a repository – good practice

Your data needs contextual information about it, so that it can be easily used and reused without confusion, such as:

  • Why the data was captured, by whom and when
  • Information needed to interpret the data
  • Rights and responsibilities, such as licensing if this is shared data or conditions of access if restricted.

Such details can be included directly on the data file (depending on format) but the simplest way is to have a read me file that accompanies the other data files. Obviously, the details required may be specific to the data collected; however, as a general rule you should include information in a readme file that you feel an interested researcher would need if they were trying to use your data in the future.

More information about readme files