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Research data

Objectives and content criteria for the Freie Universität Berlin research-data repository

The Freie Universität Berlin research-data repository gives all Freie Universität Berlin members the organizational and technical framework for the digital publication of research data and makes them accessible on the Internet for research and teaching purposes in compliance with quality standards.

In line with the Open Access Policy, by providing this service, Freie Universität Berlin supports researchers in publishing their research results and preserving research data for the long term.

The publication of research data makes it possible to review and academically verify the university research as well as to re-use the collected data.

On Refubium, sets of research data are published as separate objects independent in terms of time and space from any interpretative publications.

Metadata pertinent to research data created by Freie Universität Berlin members and already published on other repositories should also be reported for additional documentation on Refubium, the Freie Universität repository. That contributes to making the achievements of Freien Universität Berlin researchers more discoverable.

Research data

The definition of research data in the context of this repository includes data created digital data and data that can be electronically saved die in the course of academic activity, such as investigation of sources, experiments, measuring, surveys or interviews.

Distribution and long-term preservation

In the process of publication, the research data are assigned persistent identifiers (currently, DOIs), which are then communicated to the authors and can be used for referencing.

By means of special measures, such as digital signatures and time stamps, Refubium offers protection against falsification. Furthermore, bitstream-based long-term preservation is ensured for a minimum of ten years. All research data in the repository are uniformly indexed, documented and made publicly accessible.

The research data are searchable in local, regional and supraregional search machines as well as through DataCite Metadata Store and the academic search engine BASE. In order to make the Freie Universität Berlin research-data repository more discoverable, it is registered with the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR), and the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3Data) registriert. Discoverability measures are taken continuiously as necessitated by new developments.

Refubium, the Freien Universität Berlin repository, as registered OAI data provider, meets the requirements set forth in the OAI-PMH 2.0. The baseURL is: https://refubium.fu-berlin.de/oai/

Access to research data can be restricted in substantiated exceptional cases.

Requirements for datasets

If possible, save your data in non-proprietary, standardized formats. You can find more information concerning recommended data formats on the help pages. In addition to the actual data, create documentation, such as a readme file or similar document, containing all information required for subsequent use. That would include information on the structure of the data and on the context of their creation and interpretation.

In order to be made accessible on Refubium, the Freie Universität Berlin repository, a dataset must also meet the following conditions:

  1. It is in principle intended for distribution to the public as per the respective terms of use.
  2. It is not dynamic. If changes are necessary, the changed dataset is saved as new, additional version.
  3. It is in keeping with the technical parameters predetermined by the Freie Universität Berlin University Library.


Publication on Refubium, the Freie Universität Berlin repository, does not prevent subsequent publication of the data, for instance, on a disciplinary repository.

In other words, the providers of data grant the University Library the non-exclusive right to permanent presentation of the data on the Freie Universität Berlin research-data repository.

Responsibility for compliance with intellectual-property rights and licensing rights of third parties and responsibility for compliance with privacy regulations lies entirely with providers of data.

The research data made accessible on Refubium, the Freie Universität Berlin repository, may be re-used and quoted for academic purposes. The intellectual property rights to the research data submitted to Refubium lie with the providers of the data. The responsibility for content lies entirely with the providers of the data.

The providers of the data are required to assign a Creative Commons license or an open-source license to the datasets published on Refubium.

Organizational regulations

Refubium, the Freien Universität Berlin repository, is a service provided and run by the University Library.

In principle, electronic publication of datasets is free of charge for Freie Universität Berlin members and members of institutions associated with Freie Universität Berlin.

For publication on Refubium, datasets have to be submitted to the Freie Universität Berlin University Library.

Upon consultation, members of the University Library staff will assist authors with additional work necessitated in the process of publication, such as preparation of datasets or conversion to other formats, but as a rule, the actual tasks involved will be carried out by the authors themselves.