The importance of publishing and archiving collections

After you have finished working with your data collection in the Radboud Data Repository (RDR), you should archive it – in the case of Data Archiving Collections (DACs) and Research Documentation Collections (RDCs) – or publish it – in the case of Data Sharing Collections (DSCs). When you do this, the collection becomes permanently read-only, and you can no longer edit it. This may seem like a big step and you may be tempted to leave the collection in the ‘editable’ state for a little while longer. However, leaving your collections in an ‘editable’ state for too long nullifies the purpose of storing your data in the RDR.

There are three main goals of the RDR:

  1. The long-term data preservation for re-use within Radboud University

  2. The documentation of the research process to support research integrity

  3. The open access sharing of digital research data with the scientific community to enhance the impact of research executed at Radboud University

Neither of these goals can be met if your collection can still be edited. A dataset must be stored in its authentic form in order to allow for proper re-use of the dataset. It is also problematic if a researcher can edit their dataset years after a scientific publication for reasons relating to scientific integrity.

For the external DSCs, there are more reasons to publish the collection: the data and metadata will only become publicly available (under the access conditions you selected) upon publication. Only then can the external scientific community use your data. This will increase the impact of your research and the efficiency of the scientific process. Furthermore, you have to share your research data as openly as possible according to Radboud University's research data management policy. For more information, visit our best practice pages on open access data sharing and privacy concerns.

It is therefore best practice to start archiving or publishing your collection as soon as possible. Generally, you will want to archive a DAC when all raw data files and proper documentation files of a research project have been transferred into your collection. RDCs or DSCs will usually be archived or published when you are ready to submit your manuscript to a scientific journal.