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Research Data Management Toolkit

This guide provides information about research data management and the Research Data JCU platform

Publish and Share: Create a Data Publication

The Data Publication is a public metadata record of the data and information generated as part of the research project. Data Publications include detailed descriptions of the data, establish the conditions for access and re-use (including the use of data licences) and may involve issuing a DOI - ensuring that your data can be correctly cited, attributed, interpreted and re-used. 

Data Publications are harvested by the Australian Research Data CommonsGoogle Datasearch, JCU’s Research Portfolio and other systems. This increases the visibility of your work and could attract future collaboration and funding opportunities. Many funders and journals now require data sharing - and this is a pre-requisite for Open Science and reproducible research. The Toolkit includes more information about the benefits of data management and sharing.

You must have a Data Record in order to create one or more related Data Publications.

Research Data JCU is set up so that metadata flows from one stage to the next, saving you double-entry e.g. all the project and data details (FoR codes, keywords, Research Themes, description, software used etc.) you include in your Data Record will auto-fill your Data Publication.

Follow these easy steps to create a Data Publication:

(1) Update your Data Record first if required and then 'Create a Data Publication from this record' as shown.

Metadata from your related Data Record will auto-fill some of the fields in your Data Publication.

NB. You must have a related Data Record in order to proceed.

update Data Record screenshot

create Data Publication from this record screenshot

 (2) Create a Data Publication using either of the menus shown below.

Metadata from your related Data Record will auto-fill some of the fields in your Data Publication.

NB. You must have a related Data Record in order to proceed.

Create a data publication screenshot

  • Now choose a related Data Record:

choose a data record screenshot

  • Click on the tabs and fill (or edit) the metadata fields, remembering to save periodically.
  • Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

The Research Data JCU site includes very extensive help text (click on the ? icons) and prompts for each metadata field.

data publication tabs screenshothot

Writing a data description (Start tab):

Your data description should describe why the data was collected, what it consists of (in some detail) and how it was collected or analysed. This helps other researchers discover and understand your data, and use it correctly.

The default information is auto-filled from your Data Record. Please update it as required (e.g. if you are publishing a subset of the data associated with your Data Record or research project then the description should reflect this).

Note: If you completed the ‘Software/equipment used to create/collect the data’ or ‘Software/equipment used to manipulate/analyse the data’ fields in your Data Record this text will also be automatically added to your description. You may edit the metadata or remove it if this information is already covered in your data description.

The Toolkit includes some more information about writing data descriptions. The help text within the system and the training video (Module 4) provide further guidance re other data descriptors (brief, notes and logos)

If your description lacks sufficient detail the reviewer will contact you for further information before publishing it.

Need styles or a rich-text description? You can style content, create lists, tables and more in the Visual Editor (opens in new window) and use the Copy all button to copy and paste it back into the description field. This is also a good option if you are pasting text from word and want to retain the formatting.

Selecting data for publication (Select data tab):

Select only the data (attachments or links) you wish to make publicly available in the Select Data tab. 

NB. You can make some of your data available (e.g. supporting documentation such as interview guides or codebooks - or a limited number of files) while restricting access to other files if you wish. Simply select the files you would like to include instead of selecting the 'Publish metadata only (no data)' option.

Choose the access conditions (Open, Conditional or Restricted) that best apply to the dataset as a whole.

select data screenshot


Conditional access can also be a good option for de-identified data.
The data owner or custodian negotiates with the data requestor to ensure that any conditions e.g. for maintaining confidentiality and keeping data files secure are met.

Information sheets should include information on de-identification, publication and sharing and consent forms must specifically request consent for sharing and/or publication.

JCU researchers and HDR candidates should always consult their College / Centre Human Ethics advisor, and the JCU Connect Ethics and Research Integrity team for specific advice.

NB. If you would like to publish additional data locations and/or attachments (e.g. you may wish to include survey questions, codebooks or R scripts to help others understand or reproduce your research) you will need to add them to your archival Data Record (the Where? tab) first and then 'Refresh data from related Data Record' using the button provided:

Applying a data licence (License tab): 

You must select a licence if you are sharing your data. This applies to data that is made available via Conditional access as well as Open Data - as a licence will apply if/when access is granted.

We prefer JCU Data Publications to be published under a Creative Commons licence, where possible. A CC licence will establish the conditions under which your data can be reused, and ensures you will be attributed as the original author in any subsequent re-use. There is a guide to choosing licences on the Creative Commons website; we are also happy to help with any issues around selecting licences.

NB. Many journals (such as PLoS) require a licence no more restrictive than CC BY. They will often push-back on the ND (No Derivatives) clause as this prevents meta-analyses.

Please see the copyright and licensing section of the Toolkit for more information on this topic.

You may embargo your Data Publication (Submit tab) to allow your traditional research outputs to be accepted or published first. 
Please tick the specify embargo setting box and add a date - as well as any notes that may be useful to the reviewer (e.g. title of paper, target journal, manuscript submission stage). We understand that timelines for peer review and publication are not predictable and that the date you specify is an estimate only. The system does not lift embargoes automatically and the reviewer will ensure that data is not released prematurely.

We can reserve a DOI for you (tick the DOI box in the Citation tab) and make the dataset itself available for blind peer review, if this is required by your publisher.

Please contact us via to arrange a peer review link and 'official' email.

Once submitted, Data Publications can only be edited by the reviewer (data librarian) and are read-only.
NB. We can update your Data Publications for you e.g. add details for related publications that were pending when you deposited your Data Publication, or make other changes. We cannot make significant changes to a dataset (data) once your Data Publication is live and a DOI has been issued as it is part of the scholarly record and may have been cited.

Mail icon by Ilya Garmash, licenced under CC-BY 2.5 If you require any assistance completing your Data Publication please email us at for help.

Watch Module 4 of the Management of Data and Information in Research series of training videos to learn more about completing your Data Publication.

module 4 training video screenshot

These modules are part of the RD7003 Compulsory Workshops for HDR Candidates and can also be accessed via the Higher Degree by Research Students Organisation on LearnJCU. Completion of a short quiz on LearnJCU is required.

Slides are sourced from a presentation/video presentation by Catherine Randalls, Manager, Research Data Services, eResearch Centre, JCU.

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