RDIM Step 4 - Publish

Step 4 - Publish

This step requires you to create a Data Publication in Research Data JCU to publish and share the data used to inform your research findings.

Publishing research data has become an increasingly important aspect of scholarly publishing with many journals and funders mandating the publication of data (where possible) to maximise the benefits of research projects. There are also notable citation and other advantages for researchers to publish their data.

Linking between research publications and data improves discovery and access to both the literature and data as it can drive traffic between them in both directions. This facilitates the reuse, reproducibility and transparency of research (refer the FAIR Principles).  It also ensures researchers receive improved attribution for their published data.

When developing your Data Publication you’ll need to consider:

  • What citations, DOIs, or licences need to be applied to ensure your data is correctly attributed, cited and re-used.
  • What access conditions need to be applied for the future use of your research data.

About Data Publications

A data publication:

  • Is recorded in Research Data JCU.
  • Is a public metadata record of the data and information generated as part of the research project.
  • Includes detailed descriptions of the data (confidential or sensitive information about the data should not be included in the metadata record).
  • May involve issuing a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) (refer below) ensuring that your data can be correctly cited, attributed, interpreted and reused.
  • Establishes the conditions for access and reuse including the use of data licences (refer below);
    • The data associated with a Data Publication may be Open Access or shared via Conditional Access(i.e. access to data is negotiated via the Data Manager);
    • Metadata only records may also be created e.g. when access to data is restricted or data is held in another trusted repository. DOIs will not be assigned for these datasets.
  • Can be embargoed to allow for your research outputs to be published first.

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

Data Publications are harvested by the Australian Research Data Commons, Google Datasearch, JCU’s Research Portfolio and other systems. This increases the visibility of your work and could attract future collaboration and funding opportunities.

Data Publications can also be imported (via Research Data Australia) into your ORCID profile. See this short video for instructions on importing Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier and Data. Refer to the Researcher Profiles, Identifiers and Engagement LibGuide for more information on ORCID.

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.

NOTE: Once submitted, Data Publications can only be edited by the reviewer (Data Librarian) and are read-only. The reviewer can update the Data Publications e.g., adding details for related publications that were pending when the Data Publication was deposited. However, significant changes cannot be made once the Data Publication is live and a DOI has been issued.

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

If you require any assistance completing your Data Publication, or need to arrange a peer review link and official email, please contact researchdata@jcu.edu.au.

To create a Data Publication:

  • Remember that you must have a related Data Record to be able to create a Data Publication. Ensure your Data Record is updated as metadata from the Data Record will auto-fill your Data Publication.
  • Log into Research Data JCU
  • Use one of two methods to create a Data Record i.e.:
    • Directly from your Data Record
      • Click on Create a Data Publication from this record
    • Using the PUBLISH menu
      • Click CREATE DATA PUBLICATION, at this stage, you will be prompted to link the Data Publication to your Data Record.
  • Click on each tab to complete and/or edit each metadata field.
  • Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
  • Remember to save regularly.

Method 1 - Create a Data Publication from a Data Record

Research Data JCU Data Record screenshot displaying the link Create A Data Publication from this record

Click on the image to view a larger version.

Method 2 - Create a Data Publication from the Publish menu

Research Data JCU screenshot displaying menu dropdown Create a Data Publication

Click on the image to view a larger version.

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

If you require any assistance completing your Data Record, please contact researchdata@jcu.edu.au.

  • Log in to Research Data JCU
  • Select View & Update RDMP from the Manage tile, OR
  • Select MANAGE and then VIEW & UPDATE DATA RECORD from the menu.

Research Data JCU screenshot displaying menu dropdown link View and Update Data Publication

Click on the image to see a larger version.

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

This module is 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.

When developing your Data Publication, you will need to consider

The following access levels can be applied to your data via the Research Data JCU platform.

Restricted Access
Most data can be published via open or conditional access but this option is useful for sensitive datasets that cannot be de-identified and for highly confidential data. Making metadata available via a Data Publication ensures your work is more visible and facilitates discussion/collaboration with other researchers.
Conditional Access
This can be a good option for sharing sensitive data that has been de-identified. By making access conditional you can ensure requestors are genuine researchers and that they will maintain confidentiality and keep data files secure.
Open Access
Data can be downloaded via a link in Research Data JCU.Genuinely open data is in a machine-readable format on an easily accessible platform with an open licence applied to it. In practice, some licences are more ‘open’ than others. Take a look at our Creative Commons Licence page to learn more about the licences.

This option maximizes the visibility and potential impact of your data and may be required by your funder or publisher.

More Options
You can make data files (in the same dataset) available under different conditions.
Using survey data as an example:
  • raw data with direct identifiers would need to be stored in a secure location (option 1),
  • de-identified and quantitative data might be made available conditionally (2), and
  • the survey questions and codebook describing data variables could be public (3).
Changing Access
You can change options even after the dataset has been published. Under certain circumstances you may wish to have restricted or conditional access to your data and then open it up after a nominated period.

Consent Types:

It’s important to remember that whatever Access Conditions you apply to your data and information needs to completely align with ethics approvals and consent type. For example:

  • If the consent form and related information sheet indicates the data and information is for the ‘specific' purpose of this research project, the data and information CANNOT be used for ANY other purpose, even by the primary researcher.
  • However, if the consent form and related information sheet indicates the data and information can be used for ‘extended’ purposes such as related research, the data and information CAN be used for whatever secondary purpose is stated.
  • If the consent type is 'unspecified' data and information CAN  be used  for other (not necessarily related) projects and by other researchers.

Data citation refers to the practice of providing a reference to data in the same way as researchers routinely provide a bibliographic reference to other research outputs such as journal articles, reports and conference papers.

Data citation is important because:

  • It leads to recognition of data as a primary research output.
  • It facilitates reproducible and transparent research.
  • Only cited data can be counted and tracked to measure impact.
  • Citations for your published data can be included in researcher profiles (e.g. ORCID) curricula vitae etc.
  • It increases the citation rate of those publications.

DataCite provides a recommended minimum format for citing data:

  • Required elements: Creator | Publication Year | Title | Publisher | Identifier (a URL, DOI or other persistent identifier)
  • Options elements: Version | Resource Type (e.g. ‘dataset’)

Follow your style manual or publisher's advice for citing data. If no format is suggested for datasets, take a standard data citation style and adapt it to match the style for textual publications.

The DataCite DOI Citation Formatter is an online tool for formatting citations (just paste in the DOI) in hundreds of different styles.

Consent is required from human participants before data can be collected or published. Obtaining informed consent to facilitate data sharing and publication involves:

  • Developing an information sheet about maintaining confidentiality, data sharing and publication so participants can make an informed decision before consenting to participate. Your information sheet should be approved by JCU's Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) as part of the ethical clearance process (refer below).
  • Stating the possibility of future data publication and sharing,  de-identification processes and conditions for access (refer below)
  • Seeking prior approval from HREC for consent forms and information sheets.

The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) provides some example sentences in their guide (pp. 14) - the examples listed below are appropriate in different contexts (e.g. open and conditional access respectively):

The information in this study will only be used in ways that will not reveal who you are. You will not be identified in any publication from this study or in any data files shared with other researchers. Your participation in this study is confidential.

I agree that research data gathered for the study may be published provided my name and other identifying information is not used. Other genuine researchers [may] have access to this data only if they agree to preserve the confidentiality of the information as requested in this form.

If explicit consent for sharing is not obtained at the time of the study, it may be possible to seek a waiver from reviewers or to go back to participants for additional consent.

Secondary use of data or information:

The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (p. 36) raises the ethical issue of obtaining consent for secondary use of data or information. It is, for example, usually impractical to obtain consent for secondary use of data routinely collected during delivery of a service and respect for participants needs to be demonstrated in other ways.

Sharing existing data without explicit consent is a possibility if all of the following conditions for a waiver of consent, as outlined in Section 2.3.10 of the National Statement of Ethical Conduct of Human Research, are met:

  • involvement in the research carries no more than low risk to participants,
  • the benefits from the research justify any risks of harm associated with not seeking consent,
  • it is impracticable to obtain consent (for example, due to the quantity, age or accessibility of records),
  • there is no known or likely reason for thinking that participants would not have consented if they had been asked,
  • there is sufficient protection of their privacy,
  • there is an adequate plan to protect the confidentiality of data,
  • in case the results have significance for the participants’ welfare there is, where practicable, a plan for making information arising from the research available to them (for example, via a disease-specific website or regional news media),
  • the possibility of commercial exploitation of derivatives of the data or tissue will not deprive the participants of any financial  benefits to which they would be entitled, and
  • the waiver is not prohibited by State, federal, or international law.

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

A contract is a legally binding agreement that defines and governs the rights and duties between or among its parties. A number of specific issues need to be addressed prior to the commencement of a research project relating to the use, management, sharing and ownership of research data and information.

Some examples of agreements include:

With research funders:

  • The research funding agreement may stipulate that the funding organization has a claim to, or ownership of, the intellectual property (copyrights and other rights) created through the funded research;
  • Alternatively, the agreement may grant licence rights to the funding organisation with respect to the use of the data. Even if the funding organization does not acquire full ownership, they may be granted specific rights to use, share, or commercialize the data as outlined in the agreement.

With collaborators:

  • Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA): This agreement should specify whether data ownership is joint, shared, or retained by the originating party and clearly articulate the rights granted to each collaborator for using and disseminating the data. It should also address Intellectual Property (IP) rights including the ownership and potential commercialization of IP resulting from collaborative effort;
  • Indigenous Culture and IP (ICIP) Agreements: Agreements related to Indigenous culture and intellectual property often prioritize community rights and control over the data. Ownership may remain with the Indigenous community, and researchers might be granted specific, limited rights for their research purposes.
    ICIP may also be relevant in the context of data providers (below)

With data providers:

Several types of agreements with data providers may be relevant, including:

  • Confidentiality Agreement: Ownership usually remains with the data provider, and the receiving party (your research team) is obligated to keep the information confidential and not disclose it to third parties;
  • Data Transfer Agreement: Ownership and rights are often specified in these agreements. They may grant the recipient certain rights to use the data for the intended purpose but restrict further dissemination or commercialization without explicit permission;
  • Application under the Public Health Act 2005 (PHA): Ensure that you understand the terms related to data ownership, as some PHAs might allow specific uses for public health research while preserving certain rights for the data provider.

Make sure that any agreement you enter into makes the conditions for storing and sharing any derived data clear.

Always consult Research and Innovation Services for further information at contractsconnect@jcu.edu.au for specific advice.

Applying a Creative Commons (CC) licence to your data is an easy way to ensure correct attribution and enable reuse.

The CC Australia website includes a summary of each licence and a graphic showing them in order from least to most restrictive:

CC Licences graphic

There are four CC elements (BY, NC, ND and SA) which can be combined to create these six different CC licences. 
Creative Commons also stewards two Public Domain tools - Creative Commons Zero (CC0) and the Public Domain  Mark (PDM)

You can also view each licence deed at these links:

The Creative Commons  website includes a handy Licence Chooser Tool

Please note: you may insert the legal code into outputs  if you wish, however this is not a requirement for publishing data in Research Data JCU. You  can apply a  licence by selecting it from the drop-down and it will link to the code automatically

The current generation of Creative Commons licences are International 4.0 licences. Creative Commons recommends you take advantage of the improvements in the 4.0 suite unless there are particular considerations that would require a ported (e.g. Australian) licence. Older, ported licences can be selected Research Data JCU (this is not usually required).

Offering your data under a CC licence does not mean you are giving up your copyright.  Rather, you are allowing users to make use of your work in various ways, but only on certain conditions. The 4  CC elements and some potential pitfalls and are outlined in the following table:

Attribution symbol (BY). Non-commerical symbol (NC). No Derivative Works symbol (ND).Share Alike symbol  (SA).
No Derivative Works
Share Alike

Applies to every Creative Commons work - except Creative Common Zero (CC 0).

Users are expected to give you appropriate credit, provide a link to the licence and indicate if changes have been made.

Users may copy, distribute, display or perform your work but only for non-commercial purposes.

Users may not adapt or change your work in any way.

Users may remix, adapt and build on your work, but only if they distribute the derivative works under the same licence terms that govern the original work.

Watch out for:

It is possible to dedicate your work to the Public Domain by using Creative Commons Zero (CC0).

You may prefer to use one of the CC licences listed to ensure any re-use is counted towards your research impact.

Proponents of CC 0 would argue that community norms are sufficient to ensure citation.

Watch out for:

This condition has the potential to stifle engagement and innovation. Only some datasets will have commercialisation potential but you should check with Research and Innovation Services if you're not sure.

Permitting commercial use enables reuse such as sharing content on Wikipedia (which uses CC BY) and commercial organisations preserving content if publishers go bust!

Watch out for:

This condition severely restricts reuse including aggregating data and meta-analyses. Open Access journals such as PLoS will not allow you to use this condition.  CC BY-NC-ND is often referred to as a ‘free advertising’ licence.

Journals may not permit you to use the ND clause as it limits the ability to do meta-analyses.

Watch out for:

This condition can reduce interoperability which is one of the aims of the FAIR Principles.

A licence can't feature both the Share Alike and No Derivative Works options. The Share Alike condition only applies to derivative works.

(Adapted from: ’About the licences’ and ‘Know Your Rights: Understanding CC Licences by Creative Commons Australia and licensed under under CC BY 4.0.)

Creative Commons Zero (CC0) is for dedicating works to the public domain and is used by Dryad and other data repositories.

CC0 works on two levels: as a waiver of a person's rights to the work, and in case that is not effective, as an irrevocable, royalty-free and unconditional licence for anyone to use the work for any purpose. In Australia we always have moral rights (which includes the right to attribution) so the waiver is ‘ineffective’ i.e.CC0 waives all copyright and related rights to the fullest extend allowed by the law of the land. There are pros and cons for this approach and researchers need to decide what best meets their needs.

As the Digital Curation Centre suggests, this can be an ‘unattractive option for data whose creators have yet to fully exploit them, either academically or commercially. Nevertheless, it does resolve many of the ambiguities surrounding data use and reuse ... and greatly simplifies integration with other data.’

Dryad also argues that CC0 reduces the legal and technical impediments to data re-use. Imagine, for example, the difficulties you would encounter if you were mining multiple sources for data and were legally required to formally attribute all of the data owners. Community norms for scholarly communication are a more effective way of encouraging positive behaviour, such as data citation, than applying licences and that ‘Any publication that makes substantive reuse of the data is expected to cite both the data package and the original publication from which it was derived.’

The Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and Licence (PDDL) is similar to CC0, but is worded specifically in database terms. There is also the Open Data Commons Database Contents Licence (ODC-DbCL), which waives copyright for the contents of the database without affecting the copyright or database right of the database itself.

A Digital Object Identifier or DOI is a unique, persistent identifying number for a document published online. It appears on a document or in a bibliographic citation as an alphanumeric string of characters that links to the original digital object. The publisher assigns a DOI when a publication is made available electronically.

DOIs are not essential but are considered best practice for data citation.

JCU is a member of ANDS Cite My Data Service which allows Australian research organisations to mint DOIs for datasets so they can be easily cited.

DOIs can be minted from Research Data JCU under the following conditions:

  • The data is open (available by direct download) or can be made available via conditional access, i.e. The data must be available in some way in order to be citable (and to mint a DOI).
  • It hasn't had a DOI minted elsewhere, i.e. Research Data JCU must be the primary point of publication.

Data deposits can be reviewed and a DOI minted urgently if required for manuscript submission.

We can review your data deposit and mint a DOI urgently if you need this for a manuscript submission. Private links for peer reviewers (if data is embargoed) are also available on request.

DOIs for highly confidential or sensitive data where access is restricted will not be minted. However, making the metadata about your dataset public (not the data) allows other researchers to discover your work and collaborate with you in future. Importantly, your data securely stored and archived should it ever be challenged.

JCU researchers may also deposit metadata records in Research Data JCU to describe data held in other repositories (such as Dryad, GenBank or PANGAEA) and link to these datasets. This increases their visibility and ensures they are harvested by Research Data Australia and the Research Portfolio site. We cannot mint DOIs for these ‘secondary’ datasets.

Datasets without DOIs can still be cited and all datasets are harvested by Research Data Australia.

For further information, contact researchdata@jcu.edu.au

Research Data Management within Australia should comply with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and needs to take into account any relevant ethical obligations, privacy protocols, and intellectual property rights with respect to the storage and security of research data and associated information. The level of detail in which data can be shared may also be limited by factors such as research ethics, and/or by intellectual property rights and other legal restrictions.

Many research projects will involve collecting data or information about human or animal subjects in a way that might impact on their rights.  Before collecting or using the personal information of others in research (e.g. health or social science research), or planning or conducting experimental or other research involving animals or animal populations, JCU researchers must obtain ethical clearance for their projects through a formal application process managed by the Ethics and Integrity Office within Research and Innovation Services.

Research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians has additional requirements for the data generated.

Applications for ethical clearance will be assessed by the teams and committees dedicated to Animal Welfare and Ethics or Human Research Ethics.

There is also a separate process for registering and obtaining ethical clearance for Clinical Trials.

JCU's Ethics and Integrity Office reviews all applications for ethical clearance within the framework provided by national guidelines, including:

For further information, contact Research and Innovation Services' Ethics and Integrity office.

Applying a licence makes the terms and conditions regarding the reuse of data explicit, and ensures the data is attributed correctly to the owner.

Data may be Open Access (it can be downloaded and reused under an open licence) or it may be available via Conditional Access. The latter case requires negotiation with the data owner or custodian. Researchers may need to negotiate the licence terms and/or assure data owners that they will meet requirements for confidentiality or keeping files secure.

In Australia, having no licence is regarded in the same way as ‘all rights reserved’ under the Copyright Act. This means other people would have to contact the data owner or custodian for permission to do anything with the data. This restricts the future impact of the data by making it difficult (and often impossible) to reuse it or integrate it with other datasets.

If licensing information is not clear (or there is no licence) researchers should contact the data custodian for more information before they invest in using it.

This very short (1:47) video from Ross Wilkinson at ANDS explains the relationship between data licensing and data integration. Ross gives the example of integrating climate change data from a variety of sources to develop a national park regime in North Queensland. Data integration enables powerful research - but without licences in place it could take a legal team years to work this out!