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Publishing strategy guide

Research data publishing

Funders and publishers increasingly expect researchers to publish the data associated with their research. Sharing data publicly maximises potential benefits to the research community by enabling other researchers to find and reuse your data. It also enhances your profile and provides opportunities for future research collaborations.

Why publish your research data

Visibility and credit

Data publishing can enhance your profile as a researcher by making your research more discoverable. Publication allows other researchers to find, use and cite your work,and allows you to track the impact of your research. There is evidence to suggest that publications with open datasets attract more citations.¹

Transparency and robustness

Data publication enables other researchers to reproduce your research to verify findings. This promotes transparency and increases the robustness of the scholarly record.

Publisher and funder requirements

Funders and publishers increasingly require publication of datasets associated with your research. Many publishers now also require researchers share their data as part of the peer review process.

1. Giovanni Colavizza et al, "The citation advantage of linking publications to research data," PLOS One (2020)

Preparing your data for publication

To maximise discovery and reuse you should employ best practices in preparing and publishing your data set to make it Findable, Accessible, Reusable and Discoverable (FAIR). 

Before publishing ensure you:

Before you publish your dataset, make sure you have resolved all issues concerning ownership and use with rights holders. You will also need to consider any privacy and sensitivity requirements.


More information on data classification, privacy and sensitivity can be found at:

Research Data Rights Management Guide
Handling Sensitive Data
Data Sensitivity & Classification

Many funders and publishers have specific policies for data publishing. Make sure you check these before selecting a publishing platform and preparing your dataset to ensure you meet any requirements. The Australian National Competitive Grants Schemes encourage open access to research data.
Check the format and size of your files to ensure others can download, open and use your files. Open file formats are recommended to ensure your data can be accessed and used in future.
A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique, persistent identifier for research outputs. DOIs allow your datasets to be more easily found, accessed, cited and measured for impact.


ORCID is a unique, persistent identifier for researchers that helps distinguish your research activities and outputs from those of other researchers with similar names to ensure you get credit for your work.

Make sure you acknowledge your institution when publishing. A ROR from the Research Organization Registry is a useful PID for identifying universities and other research institutions.

UNSWorks will automatically assign a DOI if your dataset does not already have one and will populate your ORCID from your ROS profile.

Reuse licenses provide others with clarity around how they can reuse your data. Publishing a dataset without a license limits potential reuse of data as most jurisdictions assume all rights are reserved. UNSWorks and many other data repositories require a reuse license before publishing. Check the available licenses before selecting a platform to ensure the license you wish to use is available.


Open licenses provide the opportunity for sharing and reusing data – best practice is to make your data as open as possible and only as closed as necessary. More details on copyright and licensing can be found in the Copyright Guide.

A README file provides guidance for those accessing your data on how the data was created, its format and how the data can be reused. You can also provide data publisher and contact details. README files are required when publishing your data to UNSWorks, DRYAD and some other platforms. Learn more about creating a README text.
Use the ARDC’s FAIR self-assessment tool to assess how compliant your data is.

Where to publish your data

Dedicated data repositories and archives are the best option for publishing your research. These platforms ensure long term availability of your data and provide services including DOI minting and standard reuse licences. Data journals are also an option available to researchers. When planning to publish your data its important you evaluate platforms to determine whether they are suitable for your research.

UNSWorks is UNSW’s open access repository for publications, datasets and theses. UNSWorks allows researchers to publish datasets on their platform of choice and then create a record and link to their publications to increase discoverability of their data. Small datasets (up to 5GB) can be uploaded to UNSWorks.

Benefits of the repository include:

  • Support for Creative Commons Licenses
  • Automated DOI assignment
  • Automated publication to Research Data Australia (RDA)
  • Embargo functionality
  • Integration with InfoEd grants
Subject-specific repositories can increase the visibility of your data among researchers in your field. The Registry of Research Data Repositories (r3data) can help you find a repository in your discipline.
Other generalist publishing platforms are available. Refer to the table below to help decide which is best for your needs.


Harvard Dataverse

OSF (Open Science Framework)

File limit

300GB via UI

>300GB by arrangement

50GB via UI

>50GB possible by arrangement

2.5GB per file

1TB total per user

5GB per file

(larger files can be stored in add on services)


No cost

(for UNSW staff)

No cost No cost No cost




DOI minting



Usage statistics


Y Y    

Closed/restricted files permitted


Private permitted for period of peer review Y Y Y

Storage location


USA CERN Data Store USA Australian data centre can be selected

File formats




Any Any

Public API


  Y Y Y






  GitHub GitHub

Amazon S3, Bitbucket, Box, Dataverse, Dropbox, Figshare, GitHub, GitLab, Google Drive, OneDrive and ownCloud



CC0 only See Conformant licences and SPDX licences CC0, custom licence terms possible Any

No personal health information

No sensitive data

Sensitive data must be anonymised No sensitive data Personal health information data must be stored with a third party service

Need help?

Research Data Management

For information on creating a research data management plan see Research Data Management Overview