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Data Repositories

What is a data paper? Definitions, Explainations

A data paper is a peer reviewed document describing a dataset, published in a peer reviewed journal. It takes effort to prepare, curate and describe data. Data papers provide recognition for this effort by means of a scholarly article. ... Unlike a conventional research article, the primary purpose of a data paper is to describe data and the circumstances of their collection, rather than to report hypotheses and conclusions. 1

Data journals consist of data articles that describe how, why and when a dataset was collected and any derived data product. 2

Data journals provide strong incentives for data creators to verify, document and disseminate their data. They also bring data access and documentation into the mainstream of scholarly communication,rewarding data creators through existing mechanisms of peer-reviewed publication and citation tracking. 3

Data documents are, on the one hand, an established category today, even with its own data citation index (DCI). On the other hand, data documents have blurred boundaries in relation to other kinds of documents and seem sometimes to be understood from the problematic philosophical assumption that a datum can be understood as "a single, fixed truth, valid for everyone, everywhere, at all times" 4


1. (n.d.). Data Papers.

2. King Abullah University of Science and Technology University Library. (n.d). Research Data Management.

3. WALTERS, W. H. (2020). Data journals: incentivizing data access and documentation within the scholarly communication system. Insights: The UKSG Journal, 33(1), 1–20.

4. Schöpfel, J., Farace, D., Prost, H., Zane, A., & Hjørland, B. (2021). Data Documents. Knowledge Organization, 48(4), 307–328.

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