Archiving and Publishing



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Preventing Loss of Data: The Backup Service

The University’s IT Center provides all RWTH members with a free-of-charge Backup and Restore service. This service secures local computer systems and servers in your Institute – in case of data loss, it is normally possible to restore the data within a predefined time period. However, the backup service does not make the archiving of your research data redundant.


Publishing and Archiving your Research Data: Our Services

In order to make their research data accessible in the long term, researchers typically publish or archive their research data. Published data are openly and easily accessible, while archived data can only be accessed by the involved researcher and their home institution. Optionally, it is possible to publicly signal the existence of the archive of research data – this can be done by combining the repository and publication functions. The access rights remain unaffected by this.


Publishing Data via RWTH Publications

  Graphic representation of the publication process using RWTH Publications Graphic representation of the publication process using RWTH Publications

RWTH Publications, the University’s recently expanded repository, makes it possible for RWTH researchers to publish their research data free of charge. As with full-text publications, your research data are assigned a DOI upon publication, which guarantees that your data are accessible in the long term and can be reliably found and cited worldwide.

If you do not want to publish your data, but have a text publication, such as a dissertation, and want to let others know of the existence of the research data archive, please note the instructions below (“Daten archivieren und verknüpfen” – “Archive and link data”).


(Text) Publications

With its institutional repository RWTH Publications, the University gives you the opportunity to publish your work as first or second publication in an Open Access format. To publish your work, please take the following steps:

  1. Select a license that is appropriate for your publication (optional)
  2. Upload the document.
  3. Submit the signed author contract (de) to the University Library.

For further information, please the University Library’s web pages on publishing and RWTH Publications.


Archiving and Linking Data

The IT Center’s Archiving Service, which guarantees the secure storage of your data for a ten-year period, can be used by RWTH members free of charge. By making use of the service, you follow good academic practice and meet the requirements of many funding bodies. In order to be able to use the service, you need to install a client.

By archiving your data, you make sure that your data can be found. Moreover, you have the opportunity to link the archived data to text publications, such as your dissertation, for example. This documents the existence of the research data; however, only you and your home institution are able to access this data.

The data archive can be permanently addressed using a persistent identifieder, or PID. For further information, please download our instruction sheet Archiving of Data of a Publication (de).

Inclusion of Metadata

Metadata are descriptive information of your research data which provide valuable information. Properly describing and documenting data allows users to understand and track important details of your work, today and in the future. In addition to describing data, having metadata about the data also facilitates search and retrieval of the data when deposited in a data repository.

To support the entry and storage of metadata, you can use our Metadata Tool (de), which allows you to enter metadata according to a schema that has been specifically created for your home institution. The metadata schema predefines which fields, such as author, research area, et cetera, need to be filled out.

In addition, it is possible to predefine terminology for individual text fields. Controlled terminology makes it possible to prevent typing errors and ensure that a uniform terminology is used.