Uploading data

Which data can I store in the data archive?

The archive contains completed datasets from applied scientific research that are of value to the researcher and others. The datasets may contain raw data, processed data or specific data underlying a publication. You can find an overview of criteria and practices for collection development in our Data Collection Policy.

For data that are still being processed, 4TU.Centre for Research Data advises establishing a data lab.

Before depositing in 4TU.ResearchData, please read the deposit guidelines for more details and practical information on our upload procedure.
We strongly recommend you to submit a README file along with your dataset. A README file should describe what data is included in your dataset and ensure that future users of your
data will be able to easily understand your data files. If you are not sure where to start, read the Guidelines for creating a README file.
Check the Data Collection Policy if you are unsure whether your dataset will be accepted for inclusion in the archive.


Data can be deposited in two ways:

  • Do it yourself

Researchers may upload the data (up to approx. 10 GB) themselves, using the upload form. Registration and login can be accomplished through an institutional account or through an OpenID (e.g. a Google account).

Once you have logged in, a personal page will be created for you. This page displays the usage statistics on your dataset. You will also be asked to consent to the Licence Agreement.

When you upload a data set, it is checked before inclusion. This is to ensure that no errors have been made. Within three days, your dataset will appear in the 4TU.ResearchData archive.

  • Do it together

Datasets that are larger or that consist of various parts that must be linked are uploaded with the assistance of a member of 4TU.ResearchData staff. This also applies if the data must be converted to a particular file format.
You may contact us through researchdata@remove-this.4tu.nl or +31 (0)15 27 88 600.


Descriptive metadata are indispensable for the preservation, retrieval and re-use of datasets. They provide answers to questions concerning the person creating the data, the subject of the data, the type of file, geographic information and other aspects. In other words, they are ‘data about data’.


When uploading, you will be asked to enter the following descriptive metadata:

Main researchers involved in producing the data.
Name or title by which the dataset is known.
Institution where the data was created or collected. A person or organization responsible for making contributions to the dataset.
A holder of the data (including archives appropriate) or institution which submitted the work. Any others may be listed as contributors.
Publication year*
The year when the data was or will be made publicly available.
Date created*
Date the resource itself was put together; this could be a date range or a single date.
Concise description of the contents of the dataset. Describe the research objective, type of research, method of data collection and type of data.
Subject, keyword, or key phrase describing the resource.
Temporal coverage
Indicate the dates to which the data refer. Enter the year, or beginning and ending
Spatial coverage
Describe the geographic area to which the data refer (e.g. municipality, town/city, region, country). The geographic coordinates of the area may be included, if desired.
4TU.ResearchData automatically assigns a DOI to a dataset once the entire deposit
procedure has been completed. In some cases, a dataset may be known by one or more other (persistent) identifiers.
The primary language of the resource. When no language is added, 4TU.ResearchData will automatically assign ‘English’.
Link to publication
Include the web addresses or DOIs for any publication, important internal reports or other datasets that are related to your dataset.
Terms and conditions on how the dataset may be used. Our recommended licence is CC0 as it makes your data maximally reusable. When no licence is selected, 4TU.ResearchData will automatically apply CC0 to your dataset.

Auxiliary information necessary to interpret the data, such as explanations of codes, abbreviations, or algorithms used, should be included as accompanying documentation.
Read more in the deposit guidelines.


4TU.ResearchData will check the data before publishing them to make sure all files can be opened, are in a sustainable preferred format and an explanation of the data is available to make re-use possible. Suggestions are made for additional metadata in order to increase the discoverability of your data. We do not check or judge the quality of the data.


The costs for depositing data are € 4.50 per GB. Every researcher can upload up to 10 GB of data per year to the 4TU.ResearchData archive free of charge. By default, this data will be available via Open Access and be stored for a minimum of 15 years. For more information about the rates for depositing data and the funding possibilities, take a look at our costs webpage.


As a data producer, you will be asked to consent to a deposit license. By doing so, you grant 4TU.ResearchData a non-exclusive licence to store the data and make them available to third parties.
When depositing your data you are required to select a licence for your data as part of the deposit process. A licence will define what others may or may not do with your data.
Read our guidance for more information on the licence types we offer.

As a data user, you should be aware of the terms of the licence mentioned on the dataset description. These terms make explicit how the dataset can be used once you have downloaded it.
Following the rules of good scientific practice you need to cite the data when being used.


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