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Homepage / What’s the deal with data when I publish a paper?

What’s the deal with data when I publish a paper?


photo of a glowing half-open laptop

You’ve written a paper and have got to the task of sharing the underlying data. It’s quite enjoyable once you’re used to the process, but your first time can seem a little awkward, so here’s an outline to cover some FAQs.

Where should I put my data? We recommend uploading it to CORD, our own data repository. The data will be in our catalogue of outputs and we’ll have full control over it; we’ll look after it in line with all recommendations and ensure you retain access. Some publishers might offer different options, but you can always choose to use CORD and the system/process you are (or will be) familiar with.

When do I put it in? You can put your data on CORD as soon as you like – it’s good to prepare it at your leisure, but wait to finish and publish it at the right moment. You can keep editing your draft record as much as you like, and you can edit it after it’s published if needed, too.

What is the link to my data? Now comes the subtle part. When you edit your record, you can obtain two links to your data: the ‘private link’ and the ‘digital object identifier’ (DOI). It’s a good idea to get both. The private link is temporary (for up to three years) but the DOI is permanent. Don’t forget a DOI of 10.17862/cranfield.rd.5794842 can be turned into a link like so:

Do these links work immediately?

  • The private link can be used before you’ve published your data. As suggested, it’s for private individual use: you can send it to anyone you like (e.g. collaborators, co-authors, reviewers) to share a live preview of your record. Just remember it’s private so not for use in an article etc – you don’t want to put your privates on display!
  • The DOI link only works when the item is published, but thereafter it is a permanent link to the item (even if we change repository systems), so it is this link that must be used long-term for sharing, citing, and generally showing off your wonderful data.

So how do I share my data with reviewers? You have a few options, according to publisher/reviewer preference. The data access statement (see intranet guidance) in your paper must contain the DOI link, e.g. “Data used in this paper is available at” Remember this link will work only after the data record is published. So your two options are:

  1. The reviewers/publisher are happy for you to publish the data in advance of the paper, and they can use this link to check over the data. Publish your record in CORD and everything’s sorted.
  2. The publisher doesn’t want data published in advance, so use the DOI link in your data statement, but email the publisher/reviewers the private link for them to view the data in advance of it being published.

How do I link my data to the paper? In the two options above:

  1. When you have the DOI link to your paper, you should go back into CORD and edit your data record to include a link to the article in the ‘references’ section. Republish the item on CORD.
  2. When the paper is published, add the article’s DOI link to the record in CORD and go ahead and publish it.

Don’t worry if you forget to add a link to your paper, though; our Research Data Manager keeps an eye on CORD records and fills in the gaps where appropriate.

Why is there a “v1” on my DOI link? The DOI system automatically versions items, so when you first publish an item it will be, for example, 10.17862/cranfield.rd.5794842.v1. If you edit it and republish it, the DOI for this new version will be 10.17862/cranfield.rd.5794842.v2. Both versions are accessible – this is important for auditability and because you may link different papers to different versions of the dataset. (See an example item with multiple versions.) If you link people to without the v then this link will always take people to the latest version of the dataset. You may always prefer to use this style link.

Still confused? Just contact Georgina Parsons, our Research Data Manager, at for advice.


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Georgina Parsons

Written By: Cranfield University

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