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Research metrics and publishing: Open data

Open data

“Open data and content can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose”​

Have you got a research data management plan?

"Data management planning from the beginning of a research project helps to outline how data will be collected, formatted, described, stored and shared throughout, and beyond, the project lifecycle." (Australian Research Council). See links below for Data Management Plan templates and tools:

Monash data repository

Monash Bridges

  • is a collaborative research data repository for Monash University researchers and graduate research students
  • ensures users retain full control over their research outputs while publishing with a DOI making them easily citable
  • stores data on Monash servers providing a platform to share research outputs research datasets, media, papers, posters and presentations

Other repositories

Quality academic journals have their own data policies (e.g. the PLOS data policy). Multidisciplinary repositories may be designed to publish the underlying data from scholarly publications in a F.A.I.R manner.

Other data respositories may have a more discipline specific focus:

Source code:

To find a discipline-specific research data repository, search the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) and the Registry of Research Data Repositories.

Sharing sensitive data

For guidance on sharing sensitive data see:

Data journals

Data journals publish brief articles which describe a data set(s). They are often open access and peer reviewed, and the articles can be cited. 

Examples include:

  • Scientific data
    Open-access, peer-reviewed publication for descriptions of scientifically valuable datasets. Primary article-type is the Data Descriptor, designed to make data more discoverable, interpretable and reusable.
  • Geoscience data journal
    Publishes short data papers cross-linked to, and citing, datasets that have been deposited in approved data centres.
  • Journal of open archaeology data
    Peer reviewed data papers, describing archaeology datasets with high reuse potential.
  • GigaScience
    Open-access open-data journal. Publishes 'big-data' studies from life and biomedical sciences.

A number of data journals also support 'altmetrics' that track the number of article views, number of downloads, and social media 'likes' and recommendations. These can be early indicators of the impact of data, before the long tail of formal citation metrics can be assessed. 

How to cite open data

A number of useful guides are available for citing open data. See:

Standards for data citation vary across the disciplines. 

See the Monash Citing & Referencing Libguide for examples of citing data using different styles

The state of open data

The advantages of data citation and the impact of open data continue to evolve. Some readings below:


Open Research & Scholarship team
+61 3 9905 9917

Monash University Copyright
+61 3 9905 5732