VU Amsterdam requests that researchers archive the data used in a publication in a repository for at least ten years after the release of the publication (see also VU Policies & Regulations). There are a lot of digital archives and many more keep appearing.
The right archival option depends on the nature of the data and the field of science as described in faculty or departmental data management policy documents. The university offers 2 different general repositories for data archiving.
The RDM Support Desk and faculty data stewards can help researchers with the selection of a repository that meets all the relevant criteria of privacy (sensitivity), dataset size, etc.
DataverseNL - an online platform for the publication of citable research data in a semi-open environment. DataverseNL allows users to link publications to datasets directly, and to share the data through online archives such as DANS.
Before sending data to the vault, you will need to add metadata. A data steward, metadata specialist or functional manager can help you with the metadata and the entire process of sending data to the vault. Please get in touch with the RDM Support Desk to find this help.
There is a difference between archiving and publishing data. When we talk about archiving data, we mean that data are deposited securely, in a fixed state, in a location that is not accessible to the public or even a colleague at the VU. Archiving often happens for data that are confidential - for privacy or other reasons - and that should not be accessible publicly. Archiving is usually done for verification purposes, or, in case of medical research, to comply with the preservation requirements within the WMO.
Publishing refers to depositing data in a public repository that allows others to view, access and download your data. You can set certain restrictions, but as a rule of thumb, publishing should only happen for data that are not confidential at all. That includes data that have been anonymised, or were not personal to begin with, and data that were never otherwise confidential. If you cannot publish any data at all, we do usually recommend trying to publish some documentation, such as data collection protocols, scripts, codebooks, etc. In this way, others can see how the research was carried out, even if they cannot simply access the data.
Use the image below to remind yourself of the difference between archiving and publishing, and read the data publication page to find out what aspects are important when you decide to publish your data.
This illustration is created by Scriberia with The Turing Way community. Used under a CC-BY 4.0 licence. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3332807
Besides the repositories offered by the VU, there are many others. Unless you are working with personal or otherwise confidential data and you need to archive them in Yoda, you are, in principle, free to choose a different repository from the ones hosted by the VU.
There can be various reasons to decide to use a different repository, including funder requirements, preferences of research partners, and a repository being a common choice in your field. For example, Dutch archaeologists mostly use DANS-EASY to deposit and publish their data. Using a repository that is a common choice in your field will make your data more findable for your colleagues and increase the visibility of your work as a researcher. Some of the data repositories most commonly used in the Netherlands include:
You can also find repositories via the Registry of Research Data Repositories. When you are choosing a repository, it is important to check that it provides all the services you need. A good way to find out is to check if a repository as a Core Trust Seal, which is a form of certification for quality repositories. But if a repository does not have the Core Trust Seal, it does not necessarily mean it is not a good repository. As a minimum, you should check that:
If you would like advice about what would be a good place for you to archive your research data, you can always reach out to the RDM Support Desk.