registry of research data repositories launched registry of research data repositories launched

Earlier this week – the Registry of Research Data Repositories – officially launched. The registry is nicely described in a preprint also published this week. offers researchers, funding organizations, libraries and publishers and overview of the heterogeneous research data repository landscape. Information icons help researchers to identify an adequate repository for the storage and reuse of their data.

I really like, and that is not because I personally know several of the people involved in this project, or because they cited this blog in their preprint. I think that we are just at the beginning of building the infrastructure needed for research data management, and fills an important need. In my opinion it is not enough to provide lists of research data repositories, we need additional information that can help guide researchers in selecting an appropriate research data repository. has addressed this nicely by providing a vocabulary for the registration and description of research data repositories, and by creating a simple icon system:

The re3data icon system

Possible values for each icon. From

Future directions I would like to take include:

  • Training and education. Researchers probably pick research data repositories mainly based on the familiarity of the repository within their community rather than the criteria developed by A lot more training and education is needed before researchers understand the importance of persistent identifiers, licenses and other criteria.
  • Integration. can make it easier to integrate into existing scientific infrastructure, e.g. by using persistent identifiers such as DOIs for research data repositories, or by providing an API that makes it easier for other services to integrate
  • Governance. Whether or not scientific infrastructure such as is accepted and used by the community depends on many factors, and governance is one of the most important ones. should seek the support of other organizations, in particular from outside Germany. A governing board, as an independent organization, and strategies to coordinate with similar efforts such as Databib are possible strategies.


Pampel H, Vierkant P, Scholze F, et al. Making Research Data Repositories Visible: The Re3data.Org Registry. PeerJ PrePrints; 2013. doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.21v1

Vierkant P, Spier S, Ruecknagel J, et al. Vocabulary for the Registration and Description of Research Data Repositories. Published online 2012:374 kb, 23 pages. doi:10.2312/RE3.002

Copyright © 2013 Martin Fenner. Distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.