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Publishing research data

Publishing the underlying research data increases citations to your journal articles and other publications. Data citations are also citations.

It is imperative to get a persistent identifier for your data so that it is findable and citable. The most common identifier is Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Appropriate data repositories provide you with persistent identifiers for your data sets.

Prepare to publish

Choose what research data to preserve and share

Minimum level is to preserve the data that is needed to validate results in scientific publications and make that data available, at least for other researchers on request. Consider to preserve everything that is needed to replicate a study, and everything that is potentially useful for others. This could include:

  • Documentation, such as: code books, lab journals, informed consent forms, etc. These are important for understanding the data and combining them with other data sources.
  • Software, hardware, tools, syntax queries, machine configurations – domain-dependent, and important for using the data. Alternatively, share information about the software etc. used in research.

Source: Sarah Jones and Marjan Grootveld: How to write a Data Management Plan

Document data following the FAIR principles

You will need to provide metadata that complies with the intended repository. To maximise the impact and possible reuse for your datasets, follow the FAIR principles. These principles help to make your datasets findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. Providing proper metadata and choosing a good repository is enough to comply to most of them. For more information, look at the principles at: and related publication at:

    Basic considerations


      • If you create data, publish it in a repository that assigns a DOI or other persistent identifier to your dataset. This makes your data findable, and thus helps to increase citations.
      • We recommend using a discipline-specific repository if available, or Zenodo if a discipline-specific repository is not available.
      • Make sure that your metadata appears in ACRIS, Aalto's reporting system so that Aalto can get credit, even if your data is not fully open data. It is quick and easy to do by yourself.
      • Cite data if you use it.
      This service is provided by:

      Research and Innovation Services

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