Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | edoc-Server | Publishing | FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Electronic publishing in general

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Publication of research data




What are research data?

Research data are data that are generated or collected during the research process and serve as a basis for research results. This includes, among others, measurement data, field diaries, images, audio and video files, digitized materials, interview transcripts, 3D simulations and applied software.


Which types of research data can be published on the edoc server?

The edoc server does not technically restrict the types of research data. From the point of long-term archiving and re-usability, we recommend using open and well established file formats for research data publications. The following categories are available for selection:

  • audio
  • images
  • records
  • research data collections
  • models
  • software
  • video
  • other research data


Can research data be published with a blocking period (embargo)?

Yes. The maximum duration for an embargo is five years. During the embargo the metadata of the research data will be published, but the research data itselfs are not visible and downloadable. During the lock-up period, the author may allow certain persons access. After expiry of the embargo, the research data publication will be released to the public.


How is a blocking period (embargo) agreed?

Please use the field "Public readable note".

How long research data will be kept on the edoc-Sever?

The aim is to archive and keep accessible all publications with a maximum long-term perspective. A minimum of 10 years is guaranteed. Dissertations as well as the research data that are indispensable for the understanding are also subject to a legal collecting mandate and thus to long-term archiving on behalf of the German National Library.

How is the visibility and discoverability of the research data ensured?

Via an OAI interface, the contents are also accessed by external reference services and can thus be accessed via relevant search engines. Google Scholar or BASE research them worldwide. All published content has persistent identifiers (URN and DOI) and can therefore be clearly cited, permanently linked and quickly found.


How can research data be reused?

The terms of use for third parties are governed by licenses. In accordance with the Research Data Policy of the Humboldt University of Berlin, the use of the open standard license Creative Commons (CC) is offered.


How to deal with very large data sets?

If you have a large number of files, you should pack useful units into zip files if possible. In this case, the persistent identifier and descriptive metadata are assigned to the entire zip file as a publication unit. If you want to publish large files (> 500 MB), we ask you to contact the author's service in advance.


How to select relevant research data for publication?

Which research data is published and to what extent depends on the objective of the publication. Research data can have an illustrative function by demonstrating certain findings. In this case, research data should be selected tailored to this purpose. For the reproduction of research results, however, it may be necessary to publish entire data sets as well as to disclose the analysis tools or algorithms.
Another goal of a research data publication may be provision for reuse and further research. In this case, the subject-specific and inter-disciplinary relevance should be estimated taking into account the survey effort and the reproducibility of the respective data. Whether the raw data or already selected and edited data is suitable for this purpose depends on the research context. In any case, it is recommended to make the selection criteria for the published research data transparent in a documentation.

How to submit additional research data?

The submission of the text publication and the submission of research data are separate processes. We recommend first to submit the research data so that they can be cited in the text publication. Start submitting by logging in or registering as described in "Submission". Select a suitable collection in the "Forschungsdaten" section.

How are the research data described?

Upon submission, an entry form opens in which you enter all the required information. The form is largely self-explanatory. Required fields are marked with *. This information (metadata) is primarily used to make your publication visible and searchable.
For the reproduction and the subsequent use of research data, it is necessary to document their context of origin and the tools used for the data collection, processing or analysis. The documentation of research data can be very subject-specific and should be based on disciplinary guidelines. It is recommended to upload a research data documentation in addition to the descriptive metadata in the form of a * .txt file.

How are research data linked to the text publication?

Both the text publication and the associated digital research data receive persistent identifiers (DOI - Digital Object Identifier). With the aid of these persistent identifiers, different publication objects can be related to each other or referenced. When submitting a publication on the edoc server, the relations "Has Part" or "Is Part Of" in the sense of an integral part or "Has Supplement" or "Is Supplement To" in the sense of a supplement can be specified. A research data publication can also be related to several forms of publication (eg dissertation thesis and journal articles). The publication of the text publication and the research data can also be delayed.

How is the reuse of the research data regulated?

The terms of use for third parties are governed by licenses. Select a license in the entry form! The same license must also be ticked in the first publication contract. If multiple files are uploaded under one submission, the same license terms apply to all files.

Which data formats are suitable?

Only unencrypted files are accepted for publication. For optimal long-term archiving, the files should also not be compressed, proprietary or patented, and should use an open, documented standard.

We recommend the following file formats:

-Text: TXT, PDF / A, XML
-Table Data: CSV
- Picture: TIFF, PNG, JPG 2000, SVG
- Audio: WAV
- Video: Motion JPG 2000, AVI, MOV

How do you name the files?

Research data should be organized and secured using a clear directory structure and filename system. It is recommended to set conventions prior to data collection. A renaming is no longer possible after publication.
Name all files by content or function. Use names like "dissertation_lastname_firstname.pdf", "temperatur_daten_2014.csv", "temperatur_analyse.r". Avoid names like "manuscript.pdf", "result1.csv", "image12.png". Do not use special characters except the binding and underscore.

What will be checked before publishing?

There is only a formal review of metadata and files. In case of problems, you will receive a message and the opportunity for correction.

Does an additional publication contract have to be concluded?

For the publication of research data, a first publication contract must be concluded.  Use the form "Erstveröffentlichungsvertrag für Forschungsdaten".