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Research Data Management: Publication

Publish your data

Research data generated and collected for a specific project may have potential value beyond its original intent. Where research data is available, this improves the transparency of the research and allows results to be reproduced and validated.

The ARC "encourages researchers to consider the ways in which they can best... disseminate and re-use data generated through ARC-funded projects" (2015).

There are options available to share both the metadata and the data.

(Open access)
(Mediated open access)
(Closed access)
Metadata is fully discoverable Metadata is fully discoverable Metadata is not publicly available
Data are accessible and immediately downloadable Mediated access to data via data custodian  Data not discoverable or available to third parties
Preferred option for non-sensitive data from completed projects Good option for sensitive or confidential data Safest option for highly-sensitive data


Further to these, it is possible to place an embargo on the data or provide a modified or non-identified version of the data.

The Library can help you publish your datasets. Each of your datasets will receive a DOI to facilitate data citation.

View data dissemination details from example data management plan.

Open data mandates

An increasing number of funders are requiring data arising from projects to be openly published. Additionally, some journals from major publishers now require data supporting any articles published made publicly available:

  • BioMed Central
  • Elsevier
  • Nature
  • PLOS
  • Springer

Exceptions are generally only made in the case of confidential data, only if the data cannot be sufficiently anonymised.

Non-identified data

Certain data may be restricted including:

  • Medical research records that disclose highly sensitive personal information
  • Information of cultural and ethnic sensitivity
  • Material subject to commercial, political or legal requirements
  • Data constrained by non-disclosure agreements, contractual or institutional policies

Where the dataset cannot be shared, consider creating a public use version which may involve:

  • Anonymising data
  • Using pseudonyms
  • Generalising the meaning of detailed text

Consider providing a mix of access levels where:

  • Confidential information is not shared
  • Non-confidential information has restricted or open access

Links to ANDS and UK Data Archive resources on de-identifying and anonymising data are available under More Resources on the right-side column.


An embargo period is a formal request by an author to restrict access to documents or data for a specified period of time where the data contains:

  • Sensitive information and/or names that cannot be released at the time of publication
  • Cases that could be identified, even if anonymised
  • Confidential government statistics
  • Information relevant to current court cases
  • Information subject to copyright or other intellectual property restrictions

Access to the research data would normally be delayed until after all results and findings from the research data have been published.

View embargo period from example data management plan.

Permissions and licensing

To share and reuse data, permissions and conditions of use need to be attached to the data. Applying an appropriate license will ensure the copyright owner retains ownership of their work and anyone reusing the data knows exactly what they are permitted to do. 

Australian Research Data Commons (ADRC) recommend researchers be aware of their licensing options, which include the Australian Creative Commons licences and the BSD 3-Clause Software Licence when applying to software.

This video provides an explanation of the Creative Commons licenses and their benefits. 

Example data dissemination

These are example data dissemination details from the data management plan for a fictitious research project.

The data collection metadata will be published to Research Data Australia and be assigned a DOI. This DOI will be used to cite the data collection in any publications. The data collection will be made freely available online after the expiration of the embargo period.

Research will be shared under a CC BY 4.0 license, endorsed by AusGOAL.

Example embargo period

This is an example embargo period from the data management plan for a fictitious research project.

The data will be embargoed from open sharing until the final publication of all journal articles associated with this research project, or one year after the conclusion of the research project, whichever comes sooner.

Requests for data sharing that come before the end of the embargo period will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the principal investigator.

Publishing options

Open Access Week 2013 by SLUB Dresden 

More resources


What is open access?

What is a data embargo?

What are some ways to get my data cited?