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Guide: Depositing your work in eData
This guide is also available as a PDF.
- What is eData?
- Why use eData?
- Preparing your deposit
- Check your permissions and rights
- Starting a new submission
- Date of Issue
- Data Files
- Citing datasets and measuring impact
What is eData?
eData is an institutional repository where STFC staff can deposit data and software that support journal articles and other published research. It offers a service for the deposit, registration, preservation, discovery, sharing and citation of these digital objects. eData does not replace subject-based, national, or STFC Facility data repositories already in use, such as ICAT. Researchers should check with their funder or facility for any specific requirements on where to deposit data or software.
What should be deposited in eData?
eData is intended to store analysed data supporting published research, and any accompanying software created in the course of your research that is necessary to reproduce reported results. It is not intended to store:
- data still in active (live) use by research projects
- data that is confidential, sensitive, or contains personal information
- software that has been Licensed by STFC for commercial use
Only STFC members of staff may deposit in eData, using their federal ID and password.
Why use eData?
The Research Councils’ Common Principles on Data Policy advocates the archiving and preservation of research data, and eData allows STFC staff to comply with this. You can also compliantly deposit data funded by the EU and other funders in eData. However, some funders have specific requirements about where data should be deposited. Although eData meets most funder requirements, there may be exceptions. If in doubt, check Sherpa Juliet for an outline of your funder’s data policy.
Preparing your deposit
It is best to prepare your data/software and metadata (the information that describes your item) in advance. This makes the process easier, and also ensures your deposit is correct at submission. Most funders now require a Data Management Plan (DMP) to be in place for the length of a research project, and your deposit should be managed in line with this. Having a plan should also make deposit much easier. Bear in mind that, once licensed, datasets and core metadata should not be changed.
Software code should be formatted in a consistent manner, clearly organised and carefully documented; it should be packaged with everything necessary to allow users to read and run the software, including licence information.
Check your permissions and rights
Deposits in eData are made in accordance with our Deposit Agreement. Before deposit, make sure you have checked with your project team/co-creators/third parties/Intellectual Property team that you have the correct permissions and rights to make your data or software available. Many organisations own the IP to software created by staff in the course of their work; always check the IP status before publishing software online.
Starting a new submission
You will first need to sign in to eData using your federal ID and password. If you are signing into eData for the first time, the eData team will need to activate your account and assign your user permissions before you can begin depositing data. You will receive an email from email@example.com once your account has been activated.
To begin a new submission go to the ‘My Account’ menu on the right of screen and select ‘Submissions’ followed by ‘Start a new submission’. Select the collection to submit to, this is usually your department.
Make the title of your work meaningful and distinctive, especially if you have a number of similar items to deposit. Where possible, the title should summarise the content of the dataset and should include key words to help make your dataset discoverable.
Please be aware: that the title of your dataset will form part of the citation, should your data be reused or referenced in another study.
Record the ORCIDs of all the creators (if applicable) and have them to hand when you start your deposit. ORCIDs provide a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes each individual researcher. Register here for an ORCID if you don’t already have one.
Describe and document your work thoroughly so that it can easily be found, understood and used by others. Imagine what someone without your specific expertise would need to know about the data or software, if they were viewing it for the first time. Using the abstract of an accompanying article is not the best way to describe your data. The description should include some explanatory information about your research methods, describing how, why and when your data were created, what your data are, and whether you used any specific software. Spell out any acronyms used, and explain the labels of any variables and values.
Where possible, the description entered into this field of the submission form should be between 50 and 250 words in length. Detailed descriptions can be contained within a ‘readme’ file – preferably in plain text format. For further advice, see here, or contact the library for an example template.
Date of Issue
Is the date that your dataset was first published or publically distributed. For most datasets this will be the date you submitted it to eData. For datasets that are under embargo, please enter the date the embargo will end and the data will become publically available. If you are entering legacy data, please enter the date the dataset first became publically available.
This is a mandatory field and will form part of the data citation. You must enter the year at minimum. However, the day and/or month can be left blank if they are not applicable.
Using the drop down list, please select the type of content of the item(s) uploaded to eData. If more than one type applies, please select collection.
- A series of visual representations imparting an impression of motion when shown in succession. May or may not include sound.
- An aggregation of resources, which may encompass collections of one resource Type as well as those of mixed types. A collection is described as a group; its parts may also be separately described.
- Data encoded in a defined structure.
- A visual representation other than text. Digitised or born digital images, drawings or photographs.
- An abstract, conceptual, graphical, mathematical or visualization model that represents empirical objects, phenomena, or physical processes.
- A computer program in source code (text) or compiled form. Use this type for all software components supporting scholarly research.
- A resource primarily intended to be heard.
- A structured series of steps which can be executed to produce a final outcome, allowing users a means to specify and enact their work in a more reproducible manner. Examples include: Computational workflows involving sequential operations made on data by wrapped software and may be specified in a format belonging to a workflow management system, such as Taverna.
*Metadata Working Group. (2019). DataCite Metadata Schema Documentation for the Publication and Citation of Research Data. Version 4.3. DataCite e.V. https://doi.org/10.14454/7xq3-zf69. Pages 38–40
Think carefully about which keywords to use: imagine what you would look for if you were performing a search for your work. Strike a balance between general and very specific/specialist search terms.
Link your eData deposit to any related published works, e.g. journal articles which reference your data. You can add related article DOIs to the eData record in the ‘As referenced by’ field. If you don’t know the DOI of an accompanying article until after you have submitted your dataset, please contact the eData team we will be happy to add it to the metadata.
It is important to credit the funder of the work. Keep a record of funder names and grant numbers prior to deposit as you will be asked to provide this information.
eData will accept deposits of up to 10 GB. Please contact the eData team for larger deposits. Try to give files meaningful names that reflect the file content, avoiding spaces and special characters. Group multiple files into structured folders, and use zip files if necessary. Consider which file format will ensure the broadest and longest accessibility by others, both now and in the future. Plain text files can generally be opened on any computer, running any operating system. Whereas a proprietary file format may not open or render correctly in future versions of the same programme or computers running different operating systems. For example, a document created using Microsoft Word 97 cannot be opened in Word 2007 or any later versions of the programme.
An embargo hides your work for a defined period of time (although the metadata will still be openly available). Consider whether you need to embargo your work. Various funders have different policies on this and you should consult the policy of your funder directly. It may not always be possible to make some data open for legitimate reasons; any restrictions should be justified and justifiable.
Citing datasets and measuring impact
Your deposit will be assigned a DataCite DOI after submission, usually within 4 hours. This will appear in the URI field of the record, under the PURL (Persistent Uniform Resource Locator). You can use either the PURL or DOI to reference your data. Always send your publisher a ‘Data Access Statement’ referencing the DOI or PURL for your underlying data so that people know how to access it. You may wish to use the following citation format: Creators. Publication Year. Title. [format and/or medium]. Publisher/Repository. DOI. For further advice, see the Digital Curation Centre website. If you wish to search for a particular DOI in eData, enclose it in speech marks "10.5286/edata/527". You can see if other people have cited your data using the Data Citation Index, via Web of Science. An OpenAthens account is required to access this.
A licence must be applied to all datasets deposited in eData. The licence you select will determine how your data can be used by others. If you do not choose a licence yourself, eData will assign a Creative Commons License (CC-BY) to your work by default. As this is a standard licence approved by most funders for data.
Creative Commons Licenses are not suitable for software and an open source software licence will need to be applied. If you wish to use an alternative licence for your deposit, please select “Other”. Any special licences or conditions of use must be documented and include a plain text uploaded alongside the dataset. You will require line management approval before applying a licence and depositing your software in eData.
Software with commercial potential or that has been licensed by STFC for commercial use, must not be deposited in eData. If you are unsure about commercial potential or appropriate software licences, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or use the STFC Inventor portal to request a licence from the Intellectual Property team.
Note: The work can only be licensed by the copyright holder or under legal authority from the copyright holder. Co-creators must be consulted before a licence is assigned. Once assigned, a licence is permanent and cannot be revoked, nor can the content be changed.
Before depositing your dataset, you should refer back to your project documentation, collaborative agreement or Data Management Plan. For some projects, the licence under which the dataset can be shared, may have been agreed or outlined at the beginning of the project.