Prepare data for publication

Before you are publishing your research output, it’s time to think about what research data you want to make openly accessible for whom and whether you have the rights to do so. Think for example about the following topics:

Resolve issues around intellectual property, ethics and privacy

if you haven’t covered issues surrounding data ownership and data exploitation in the planning phase yet, now is the time to do so. Not all data is created equal. If you have worked with confidential or personal data it must be protected from unauthorized access. TU Delft compliance with Dutch privacy legislation (Personal Data Protection Act or WBP) is supervised at an institution level by the Data Protection Officer (DPO).

Check the data availability policy of the journal publisher

You’ll probably want to publish about your research. More and more journals demand that you deposit the data underlying your publication and link it to the article. Check the data availability policy of the (Open Access) journal of your choice.

Cite your dataset

To ensure accurate citation and to ensure that other researchers will be able to retrieve your data in the future, datasets must be equipped with a persistent identifier. As a researcher, you can reserve a DOI for use in your publication – even before you have deposited your data in an archive.

Data access Statement

Including a data access statement in publications is required by some funders and it helps readers to understand where supporting data can be found and under what conditions they can be accessed.  A simple direction to ‘contact the author’ would not normally be considered sufficient.

Data access statements should include a persistent identifier, such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which links directly to the data or to supporting documentation that describes the data in detail, how it may be accessed and any constraints that may apply.

  • If data is openly available, provide the name of the data repository together with any persistent identifiers.
  • If there are legal or ethical reasons why the data cannot be made available, then describe these.
  • If the data is not openly available, then direct users to a permanent record that describes any access constraints or conditions that must be satisfied for access to be granted.
  • If you used existing data from another source, then the source should be credited.

The exact format and placement of a data statement may be influenced by a publication’s house style.

Think about a data license

Clear labelling of the licensing terms is an essential part of open research data. Most data repositories have default licenses. If you deposit your data at 4TU.ResearchData, the data are made available ‘open access’ by default' with the possibility for an embargo period during which the data will be invisible to the general public. You always retain the right to deposit the dataset elsewhere in its present or future version(s) as well as the right to be acknowledged as creator. If a standard data license isn’t available at the data repository of your choice, choose a data license yourself. For data consider one of the following licenses, conformant with the open definition. For licensing Open Source Code use choose a license.

Choose an open data format

The ability to read your data in the future depends on the data format. If associated software/hardware is no longer used, data may become unreadable. You are strongly encouraged to use standard, exchangeable or open file formats. 4TU.ResearchData offers a list of preferred formats, for which they guarantee.

If you have any questions on preparing for your publication, don’t hesitate to email

On the RDM portal information on research data management is provided for every stage of your research project.