Through the 4TU.ResearchData repository, training and community engagement, we strive to support researchers and research data management supporters working to make their research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). Here’s what some of our community members and data repository users say about the support services we provide.

"The STORM dataset was the first dataset I published (and, also open access!) so I had zero prior experience. Now, we have these amazing FAIR data principles to make your dataset Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. 

There are elements of FAIR that lie in the hands of the researcher, such as interoperability, which can mean avoiding vague data formats that no one is acquainted with...  However, there are metadata curators at 4TU.ResearchData who are happy to help! I am grateful to Jan van der Heul, the metadata hero who helped me make my dataset more FAIR upon publishing...

Jan provided a list of suggestions for keywords and other metadata so that my dataset could easily be found by people looking for tropical cyclone data. He also checked my README file that I created to accompany my dataset to make sure it was as clear and understandable as possible, and suggested an appropriate license to specify the reuse of my data.

Datasets that are not easily findable and understandable because they miss the right keywords or have very vague README statements make it harder for other researchers to interpret and reuse them. And, that's not really beneficial if you want to push science forward!"
A meme created by Nadia to credit Jan for his efforts as one of 4TU.ResearchData’s metadata curator.

Giordano Lipari

Consultancy · marketing · outreach · research at Watermotion | Waterbeweging

Giordano’s Data Collection: High-resolution SPH simulations of a 2D dam-break flow against a vertical wall

"We decided to share 735GB worth of data grouped into a collection of five datasets totalling 1650 separate files as a tail of a post-doc project at TU Delft. The granularity of this arrangement benefits users with little broadband who can download and explore subsets of their choice. 

What is easy for humans to think of can be complicated for complex software systems to implement. Apparently, the large size and number of data files amounted to a stress test for 4TU.ResearchData's recently introduced repository platform. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link; transfer interruptions, uploaded files turning up as corrupt and perplexing diagnostics seemed to undermine our initial plans to publish the data. These difficulties were compounded by the termination of my access to TU Delft resources. 

Against worsening prospects, the data librarian indicated alternative channels to continue the work and committed himself to get the job done. Together, we set up another pathway to publication which, in fact, became impromptu teamwork. The staff at 4TU.ResearchData actively joined the process. They directed me towards the open doors, took files and instructions, returned feedback, and reality-checked any incongruence that occurred.

Their persistence, patience and application proved essential to finish the work and made working around the setbacks less dismaying and, eventually, rewarding. I am grateful to Jan van der Heul and Egbert Gramsbergen, without whom the collection of datasets would not have seen the light. I could understand the amount of silent work going on in the back-office of the data repository. I encourage future data contributors to trust and appreciate the skilfulness of the humans behind 4TU.ResearchData in all situations." 

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