Licenses and preservation policy
At ResearchGate, we believe you should be recognized for all your scientific output, not just your published articles. Because of this, we've made it easy for you to add data to your profile – and make it readable and citable.
You'll get a free Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for your data, which makes it easy for others to find and cite your work. We also let you choose a license to control how your data is used and to ensure that you always get credit for your research.
You can also connect your data to your projects and publications to get feedback and recognition from your peers. And like your publications, projects, and other work, you'll get stats on who is reading and citing your data, and how often.
You can add most types of data to your profile, including tables, images, code, and videos, as well as more domain-specific data such as sequence data and protein structures. We offer rich visualizations of many of these types of data, and are working hard to increase our list of supported types.
Why should I upload data on ResearchGate?
Adding data on ResearchGate helps you get cited and recognized for all of your research, and gives you control over how your data is used. When you add data, you can get a free DOI and license, along with stats on how often your work is being read and cited, and by whom.
What types of data can I add to my profile?
You can upload most types of data, as long as it is lawful and in compliance with our policies. See our Data Upload Policy for more information. Other researchers have added useful data such as tables, images, code, videos, as well as more domain-specific data such as sequence data and protein structures.
How do I upload data to ResearchGate?
- Click the blue button in the upper right-hand corner of any page, then select Data
- Upload your file either publicly or privately
- Check the Upload Conditions box, add a title and enter the authors' names
- Click Upload to continue
- Enter a description of your data, an existing DOI if you have one, and connect your data to your publications
- If uploading your file publicly, you can choose a license and generate a DOI if the data doesn't already have one
- Connect your data to your projects on ResearchGate or click Not from a project
- If uploading your data publicly, choose how you would like to receive feedback from other researchers in your field and click Continue.
Note: You must always make sure that you have the right to upload any file to ResearchGate before doing so. For more information see our Copyright section.
What information do I need to provide about my data?
It is important that you include as much detail as possible when you add your data on ResearchGate, to make it easy for other researchers to cite and understand it. We, therefore, require that you include a title, authors, and a publication date. A description is strongly encouraged because it allows you to provide background details, such as why and how your data was created, and how to reproduce it.
Will my data be visualized?
We are working hard to increase the number of file types which can be visualised. We currently offer rich visualisations for the following types of data:
Nucleotide Sequences (.gb, .fas. .fasta)
Alignments (.gb, .fas. .fasta)
Protein Sequences (.gb, .fas. .fasta)
Text Files (.txt or similar)
Tables (xls, xlsx)
Images (png or similar)
Can I upload data that relates to human subjects?
In accordance with the law and our Data Upload Policy, content which contains personally identifiable information about third parties or information from which individual persons may be identified is not allowed on ResearchGate. Therefore, only human subject data that has been fully anonymized – meaning that any data subjects are not or are no longer identifiable – and prepared under applicable legal and ethical rules, can be uploaded. Content that does not comply with this policy may be removed by ResearchGate.
Is there a size limit on the data I can upload?
You can add data to your profile up to 512MB. If you have data that is larger than this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll do our best to find a solution for you.
What is a DOI?
A DOI is a unique identifier that provides a permanent link to any research you add to your profile.
DOIs help you:
- Make your research citable
DOIs provide a reliable and permanent link to where your work is available online.
- Showcase all of your research
DOIs provide the ability to find all publications associated with a single author, including unpublished work.
- Put a date on your discovery
DOIs include the publishing date of your research, to make sure you get the credit you deserve.
The search bar at the top of every ResearchGate page supports DOIs, allowing you to quickly find and identify a publication when you know its DOI.
Please note: Once a ResearchGate DOI has been generated, the research item can no longer be edited. If you need to edit it, please remove it completely, make the necessary changes, then re-upload it and generate a new DOI.
Can I generate a DOI for my data?
Yes, you can generate a DOI for any data you add publicly to your profile. We encourage you to do so, to ensure that your data is easily findable and citable.
Please note: DOIs should only be generated for data that doesn't already have an existing DOI. If your data already has a DOI, you can add it when you upload your data.
How do I generate a DOI for my data?
If data you’ve added doesn’t have a DOI yet, you can generate one by following these steps:
- Go to your profile and click the Contributions tab
- Select the data you would like to generate a DOI for by clicking on its title
- On the right-hand side, click on the blue arrow and select Generate a DOI
- Review the details of your data to ensure they are correct
- Click Generate a DOI.
Your work will now be assigned a DOI, making it easy for researchers to find and cite it.
Please note: Once a ResearchGate DOI has been generated for your data, the research item can no longer be edited. If you need to edit it, please remove it completely, make the necessary changes, then re-upload it and generate a new DOI.
If my data supports a publication, does the publisher own it?
The rights or restrictions that apply to your data can depend on a number of factors and can only be assessed by the uploader and/or publisher. Generally speaking, when you publish an article in a journal, you will sign an agreement that likely assigns certain rights to the publisher. Your publisher typically owns copyright over the published version and may restrict the distribution of other versions. Regarding the data supporting your paper, however, the author will often retain any rights. Please check applicable license terms before you upload data. If in doubt, ask your publisher directly.
Do I retain copyright on any data I upload?
You can control which licenses or restrictions you wish to upload data under. (This assumes you have underlying rights. See above for more clarification.) If you choose to make your data available using a Creative Commons license, you don't give up copyright unless you specifically choose to dedicate your content to the public domain. For most Creative Commons licenses, you can dictate the terms of data reuse, and allow others to copy, distribute, and make either commercial or non-commercial use of your work. We encourage you to always assign a license to your data to clarify the rights and expectations around its reuse. For more information on Creative Commons licenses, see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/.
How do I add a license?
When you add new data publicly, you can choose to add a license in the last step of creation by selecting an existing Creative Commons license. Your work will then be assigned a license which informs others on how to reuse it.
- Click the blue button in the upper right-hand corner of any page, then select Data
- Upload your file
- Add a title
- Click Continue
- Enter details about your data
- Select the License dropdown
- Choose a creative commons license from the list
- Generate a DOI
- Connect your data to your publications and projects on ResearchGate
- Click Finish to confirm.
What Creative Commons license should I use?
Assuming the content is not already subject to an existing binding license, you can assign any type of Creative Commons license to your data. Your choice depends only on the kind of data reuse you want to allow.
For detailed information on Creative Commons licenses and the types available, please see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/.
Preservation and Versioning
How does ResearchGate store and back up files I upload?
When you upload content of any kind, ResearchGate stores the content across various secure services and also makes copies onto separate back up servers to assure continuity and preservation in the event of service disruption. In order to ensure the integrity of specific data files when files are read, they are checked for CRC32C and MD5 checksums. In case the checksum fails, the system restores the file from a replica in the system.
Does ResearchGate allow versioning?
ResearchGate does not yet offer formal versioning. However, we are working on introducing versioning soon. In the meantime, we let you upload the newest version of the dataset as a separate publication.
Please note: We discourage you from removing the previous version if you have assigned a DOI to the data.
What is ResearchGate's Data Withdrawal Policy?
At present, you have the right to withdraw any content you've uploaded to ResearchGate, including data. However, we discourage you from doing so if a DOI has been assigned to it. This is because DOIs are meant to provide a stable and permanent link to your data. If you choose to withdraw content, it gets deleted entirely from our database when a DOI has been assigned to it. Content without a DOI will not be deleted, but will not be visible publicly.
Note: ResearchGate reserves the right to remove any content which is deemed objectionable, or may expose the company to risk or legal liability.
Please also note: When you remove content that has a DOI from ResearchGate, the metadata associated with it will also be removed from DataCite.
Data Citation and Statistics
How do I cite data on ResearchGate?
At ResearchGate, we strongly believe that all research should be accorded the same status in scholarly record, regardless of whether it is a journal article, book, or data. We, therefore, encourage you to cite data in the same way you would cite other research such as articles or books. Following the DCC and DataCite guidelines, we suggest the following citation format:
Creators (PublicationYear). Title. Publisher. Identifier
Example: Steenhout, Iris (2017), Data from data.police.uk to a structured DB table, ResearchGate, 10.13140/RG.2.2.14151.29607
Can I see how often my data is being used and downloaded?
You can find out how many reads and citations your data is getting, where it's been cited, and by whom, on ResearchGate. Where possible, you will also be able to see exactly what was said about your data and view the citation in context exactly where it was cited. When you are viewing your own data, you can also see who has read it.
For more information about stats on ResearchGate, go to your Stats.
Who can upload data to ResearchGate?
Permission to upload data on ResearchGate is limited to registered ResearchGate members. This is how we help ensure that data on the platform remains relevant and of a high quality. The validity and authenticity of content remains, however, the sole responsibility of depositors.
Please note: We provide no guarantee for completeness or accuracy of the data to be found on the repository. ResearchGate does not give advice of any sort by making the data available.
Data upload policy
Our goal is to support scientific progress by enabling users to upload the broadest range of data possible. There are, however, a few categories of data that are not permitted. If you are uploading data, it is your responsibility to ensure that anything you upload complies with our policies and any applicable laws. In particular, you must ensure that you either own any data you upload or that you have any necessary licenses or permissions to do so. In addition, we disallow the following:
- Content which violates any intellectual property rights of a third party
- Content containing trade secrets or confidential information of a third party
- Content that may raise national security concerns
- Content containing personally identifiable information about third parties or information from which individual people may be identified
- Content which is defamatory or may otherwise be considered unlawful
- Content subject to a court order or legal action requiring removal
Please note: ResearchGate reserves the right to remove any content which is deemed objectionable, or that may expose the company to risk or legal liability.