Zenodo Repository Releases New Collaborative Features for Data Sharing

In October, the CERN-supported data repository Zenodo performed a major technical upgrade and released new features for collaborative work on the platform. Several improvements applied to Communities, subcollections within Zenodo where a project, research group, or organization can gather their uploads in one place. Other upgrades affected access settings, increasing the degree of control researchers can exercise over who can access their uploaded data. The new features may be useful to researchers or groups looking to centralize their data in one repository as they upload their data in compliance with the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. (For a discussion on why and how to do so, see the HSLS NIH Data Management & Sharing Guide.)

Among the improvements:

  • Researchers can now choose from more access options for their data. Previously, files were either publicly downloadable or not, with optional embargoes and “request access” buttons. Now files can be restricted from the public but shared with other members of a community, and they can be shared via “secret link” with other collaborators. The interface for setting access conditions has been streamlined.
  • Communities can now include multiple members with distinct roles, like reader or curator; set up review workflows to approve community submissions and manage metadata; and brand their web space with images and a description of the community’s lab, research group, or other organization.
  • Zenodo now integrates better with ORCiD and Research Organization Registry (ROR) for designating authors and their affiliation. (Need an ORCiD ID? Visit our guide Managing Your Scholarly Record with ORCiD.)
  • The option to choose a license for your uploaded data, code, or publication is simpler and clearer, with plain-English explanations of what each license does.

Public data repositories are the platform of choice for long-term data storage, retrieval, and sharing. When you upload your data to a repository, the platform staff takes care of maintenance tasks like checking your files for corruption and keeping their DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) in working order after a server upgrade—tasks that you would have to do yourself if your data were kept on a lab server or personal website. The differences among repositories that take all types of data, like those on the National Institutes of Health’s list of generalist repositories, largely pertain to size limits for uploaded files and what kinds of controlled access are available to data for sensitive or in-progress research. Zenodo’s new features expand on the latter, allowing researchers to create private links so that collaborators or peer reviewers can view, download, or edit restricted data.

For more details on what’s new in Zenodo, view the Zenodo release notes. For more information about the differences among generalist data repositories, the Generalist Repository Comparison Chart by Stall et al. is an excellent start. HSLS Data Services would be happy to help you find the right repository for your data. Simply contact us to set up a consultation.

~Helenmary Sheridan