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Research Data Management : Data Sharing: Data journals

This guide is aimed at assisting researchers in making the choice to share your data, prepare for it and select the appropriate repository to do so.

Data journals

Data journals1 consist of data articles that describe how, why and when a dataset was collected and any derived data product. Rather than presenting any analysis or conclusions, a data article may present arguments about the value of the data for future analysis. "Such publishing mechanism both give credit that is recognizable within the scientific ecosystem, and also ensure the quality of the published data and metadata through the peer review process" 2.

A data journal will not normally host data itself but recommend where it should be deposited, and then link to it.  This tends to make them useful sources of advice about repositories. 

There is a growing list of data journals. Among the most known are:

Specifically about code:

1Definition for data journals taken from "Whyte, A. (2015). ‘Where to keep research data: DCC checklist for evaluating data repositories’ v.1.1 Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre. Available online:"

2 Gorgolewski, K., Margulies, D. S., & Milham, M. P. (2013). Making Data Sharing Count: A Publication-Based Solution. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7.


A nanopublication is the smallest unit of publishable information: an assertion about anything that can be uniquely identified and attributed to its author. Nanopublications is a community-driven approach to representing structured data along with its provenance into a single publishable and citable entity. 

Nanopublications can be serialized using existing ontologies and RDF, allowing nanopublications to be machine readable and opening the door to universal interoperability. In turn, this allows extremely large, heterogeneous and decentralized data to be analyzed for the discovery of new associations that would otherwise be beyond the capacity of human reasoning. Furthermore, because nanopublications can be attributed and cited, they provide incentives for researchers to make their data available in standard formats that drive data accessibility and interoperability.

Nanopublication infrastructure is administered by the Concept Web Alliance, and are based on open standards.

For more information please see: