Frequently asked questions

Any person with an NHMW account.

The NHMW Data Repository is intended for research data, including, but not limited to, micro CT data, 3D models, shapefiles, collections of measurements, analyses of sequencing data (raw sequencing data should be stored at NCBI SRA), data and many other data types.

It is not intended as a repositorium for publications or single specimen images. For the former, a dedicated archive will be established by the NHMW libraries, while the latter should be stored in the NHMW collection databases.

All file formats are allowed, but non-proprietary formats are strongly recommended. Long-term preservation cannot be guaranteed for proprietary formats. Contact the NHMW data stewards for support on choosing preservation friendly file formats if needed. Research data deposited must be accompanied by an abstract describing the content and relevance of the data (see here for a best practice example).

Addition of "usage notes" detailing the structure and generations of the data, as well as any relevant protocols and permits (i.e., the information typically included in the Material & Methods section of a research paper), is strongly recommended.

You can upload data through the web user interface [link] from your NHMW desktop. Note that file upload is only possible from within the NHMW network for security reasons. Please refer to the Upload Guide for more details.

For active members of the NHMW, the use of NHMW Data Repository is free of charge. However, big projects, which demand high storage volumes may need to bring in funding for extension of the existing data storage. In such cases, the project lead needs to involve the data repository team at an early stage (ideally before submission of the project application), else the availability of the requested storage cannot be guaranteed.

All data stored within the NHMW data repository will be ultimately made accessible to the public. It is not intended as archive for sensitive data.

For data associated with publications currently under review, an option to delay publication for a specific moratorium period (typically 6-12 month) is possible. Note that the data will be made available to the public automatically, once the moratorium period ceases.

Use and re-use of the data is subject to the usage license assigned to the data. The repository team strongly recommends usage of a Creative Commons CC BY licences, in order to facilitate unrestricted re-use of the deposited data. Make sure you have the required consent in order to grant licenses as data creator.

Creative Commons licenses do not apply to software. Please use an appropriate GPL license instead.

It is good scientific practice to give credit to creators by citation. The NHMW Data Repository provides ready-to-use citation snippets in multiple formats on the pages for the individual datasets.

If in doubt please contact the data stewards.

We recommend the following paper for additional information: Elger, K. & Lorenz, M. (2022) Datenpublikationen richtig zitieren. GMIT Geowissenschaftliche Mitteilungen 90, 25-28. [DOI for whole volume]

How to quote data
Fig. 1: How to quote data correctly

Changes in the metadata are possible but you cannot remove the uploaded files themselves. The reason being, that once published, the data is assigned a persistent identifier (DOI) and is thus permanently available, i.e. it cannot be deleted, unless they violate rights of third parties. In such cases you are asked to contact the repository team, who will take appropriate action in collaboration with the NHMW legal department. In any case the persistent identifier, the metadata and the URL are retained and point to a so called 'tombstone' page.

Upload of the data to a repository does not necessarily make it FAIR, but the NHMW Data Repository assists in making data fair by

  1. assigning a DOI and structured, machine-readable metadata for every record, thus making the data findable using web-based search engines (Findable)
  2. offering free open access to the associated metadata under standardized protocols (Accessible)
  3. providing clear licensing information for the uploaded data and the means to document information of the nature and format of the data (Reusable)

Interoperability, in contrast, needs to be ensured by the data creators through selection of appropriate non-proprietary data formats (contact the repository team for assistance if needed) and documentation of the data structure and source.

The data stay in the NHMW Data Repository under the license assigned by the creator.

Usage of the NHMW data repository ensures archival of your data under clear licensing terms and associated metadata and allows you to share your research data with the scientific community, thereby improving transparency of your research and facilitating re-use of the data by others (ultimately improving chances for citation). The DOI assigned to the uploaded dataset can be used as a reference in your publication and will guide the reader to the dataset (similar to other repositories, e.g. DataDryad)

Absolutely. For specific data (e.g. Next Generation Sequencing Data) domain-specific repositories exist, which provide enhanced functionality for these types of data (e.g. NCBI GenBank or NCBI Short Read Archive). The repository team encourages usage of domain-specific repositories where those exists.