Publishing on opendata@uni-kiel: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 0

First things first:

To publish your data without any issues, take your time. Then you can avoid time-consuming corrections and present your research results in the best possible way.

Step 1

Check whether opendata@uni-kiel is the right repository for your research data:

Step 2

Clarify legal issues:
  • Can the data be published from a legal perspective (third party rights, etc.)?
  • Select a supported free license that is suitable
  • Do all authors agree to publish the data under these conditions and with their names mentioned?

If you have open legal questions, you should seek legal advice from a professional. The team opendata@uni-kiel has a technical background is not qualified for this.

Step 3

Prepare your data:
  • Perform the typical measures to ensure data quality, as usual in your field of expertise
  • If your dataset contains personal data of still living people, now is the time to delete or anonymize it - no personal data of living people may be uploaded to the repository
  • Convert your data to an open format suitable for long-term archiving (e.g. .csv instead of .xlsx)
  • If you have many small files to publish, bundle them into a single archive file (use an open format, e.g. .zip)
  • If you want to publish larger files, and they can be significantly reduced in size by compression, you should also compress them with an open archive format to save resources
  • Make sure that your file names do not contain any special characters (except - . _ Space) and rename them if necessary - Files in archives (e.g. contents of .zip files) are not subject to this requirement
  • If you want to create a more detailed documentation for your data, the .pdf format is a good choice, as this format can be easily integrated into the repository

Step 4

Create a draft in the repository:

Notice for PhD students: Should you already have left the university and your computing centre account is expired, you can no longer log in to the repository. If the research data was intended to be published along with your dissertation at Kiel University, we offer an alternative publication process exclusively for this situation, that you can use instead. It is outlined in this form (German language - please contact us if you require an English translation).

If multiple authors are involved, you should designate a suitable person to work with the repository. The publication will be linked to this user account and questions from the technical staff will go to their mail address. It may also make sense to agree in advance with all authors which values will be entered later as metadata. You can use the Metadata Reference as a guide.

  • Use a desktop computer or a notebook - we do not recommend the use of mobile devices (cell phone, tablet) for the creation of publications
  • Open the Research Data Repository website in your web browser and click on Publish Research Data (you may need to log in with your RZ account afterwards)
  • If you have not yet accepted the latest version of the terms & conditions, they will be displayed now - read them carefully and check the box below the text if you agree
  • Now fill in the metadata of the publication in the input mask using the Metadata Reference as a guide (there are only a few mandatory fields) - by clicking on Save the draft will be created
  • You will now see a preview of your publication as the whole world would see it after publication (but it is still private)
  • If you want to make further changes to the metadata, click on Edit document in the upper right corner to get back to the metadata input screen

You can already see the DOI we would register for your publication during publication. It is displayed in the right pane. You can keep your draft in this non-public, editable state and finalize it within a year. The publication will then be made with this DOI. You get back to your draft by clicking on the My Publications link after logging in. If you later decide not to publish this draft after all, please delete it using the Delete Document link.

Step 5

Upload the research data:

We recommend using the on-campus CAU wired LAN for uploading research data, as data transfers are faster and more trouble-free compared the Internet. Uploading large amounts of data via mobile phone or a home DSL line may take several hours.

  • Uploads of files with special characters in their name (see above) are blocked, so make sure to use simple filenames
  • Click on browse in the gray file field in the middle of your publication preview and select the file you want to publish
  • Alternatively you can drag-and-drop several files at once onto the gray file field (please upload only files and no directories this way, otherwise subdirectories will be created on the server)
  • Now the file transfer starts - its progress is displayed in the window bottom right
  • After the end of the transfer, wait for the processing on the server side, which can take a few moments - only when the progress window on the bottom right has disappeared is the upload actually complete
  • Carry out these steps with all your research data as well as any documentation files you may have created - delete any files uploaded by mistake using the cogwheel next to their name
  • Optionally, you can compare the MD5 checksums of the files on the server side with your local versions to detect transmission errors by clicking on Actions and then download MD5 in the upper right corner above the file area
  • Now designate one of the uploaded files as the main file - indicated by a blue star - by clicking the cogwheel to the right of its name (if you designate your .pdf documentation as the main file, its preview will be automatically displayed to visitors)

Step 6


After publishing, your research data is available to the public on the internet, and you can no longer edit it. Particularly the metadata you entered will propagate to various indexes and aggregators. Therefore, review your publication carefully beforehand. There is no time pressure: your draft can remain unpublished in the repository for at least 1 year.

  • When all files are uploaded and the metadata has been entered, it is a good time to show the draft again to other involved people from your department - they often have further suggestions for improvement. You can share the private link that we display for you on the right hand side to grant them access.
  • Now is the last chance to create an embargo for the uploaded files (e.g. by changing the embargo date in the upper right corner) - once the document was public without an active embargo, you can no longer set up an embargo date
  • If you have decided to publish the document, click on the button in the upper right corner - depending on your access rights, it is labeled Publish document and generate DOI (publishing will be instantaneous), or Request publication and DOI (publishing will occur within 2 working days)
  • Most of the data is from now on locked for editing (except by administrators) and you will receive an e-mail as soon as the document is released to the public - either immediately or within 2 working days, depending on your access rights

We plan to provide our users with the means to add links to other subsequent publications based on the uploaded research data even after it has been published. Until the time that this feature has been implemented, you can contact us to have new links added to your document.


Once the confirmation mail arrives, the publication process is complete. If the mail does not reach you within the above time frame, please feel free to contact us. The DOI is typically registered a few minutes after the mail has arrived. Post publication, there are additional functions available to you, which you will find on the website of your publication after logging in to the repository:

  • Access statistics
  • You can adjust an embargo date as long as it is still active (to delete the embargo early, set a date in the past - the embargo will then be lifted after a few minutes)
  • An embargo-free link that you can pass on e.g. to reviewers is ready for copying