Best Practices for Data Submission

This section describes how the preparation, submission and publication process work.

Data preparation

Within the stage of data preparation, Registered Users are able to upload Data Collections and the respective Metadata and Documentation of Data Collection. At this stage, Data Collections are restricted to the Data Depositor, the responsible Curator(s), as well as other Registered Users invited by the Data Depositor and provided with access.

In this restricted area, Registered Users will be able to prepare the Data Collection following the guidelines and requirements stipulated in the ‘General Terms and Condition of Use’ and ‘Data Submission Agreement’ of Discuss Data. This requires:

  • Fill in the online form for the Metadata
  • Upload the Documentation of Data Collection
  • Upload the Data files
  • If needed, provide scans of the necessary documents related to legal and ethical issues (e.g., copyright agreements, scans of consent forms);
  • Accept the Data Submission Agreement

After submission, the responsible Curator(s) aim to have a first, basic formal evaluation of the Data Collection; however, they will not perform an in-depth analysis of the Data Collection. The Discuss Data team will check if the Data Collection is in concordance with the Discuss Data guidelines in respect to:

  • Content: Does the Data Collection fit into the chosen categories and the scope of Discuss Data?
  • Metadata: Are the necessary Metadata information correctly provided, are correct tags, keywords and topics used?
  • Licence: What are possible restrictions of the use of the Data Collection established by the Data Depositor?
  • File formats: Are the files free of viruses, readable and in formats marked as Discuss Data compatible? Could additional alternative open formats be provided (e.g. XML, CSV)?
  • Language: Are the necessary information about the Data Collection (i.e., Metadata, Documentation of Data Collection) provided in proper English and easily understandable for others?
  • Documentation of Data Collection: Are the context and the methodology / methods used to obtain the data described according to the Best Practices: Documentation of Data Collection?

Additionally, the Data Depositor has the option to request support from the Discuss Data team. If necessary, the Discuss Data team and/or the responsible Curator(s) will resolve open issues in communication with the Data Depositor.

At any point of the data preparation process, Data Depositors are free to abort. If they decide to remove the unpublished Data Collection, all materials provided by the Registered Users will be deleted. Once the preparation process is finished and the Curator(s) accepted it for publication, the Data Collection can be published.

Data submission

Following registration with Discuss Data and creating a User Profile, Registered Users are encouraged to prepare their Data Collection according to the technical and formal requirements of Discuss Data and collect all the information and permissions / licenses necessary. After completion, Registered Users can upload their Data Collection to a restricted area of Discuss Data for the pre-publishing preparation process.

Data publication

The Discuss Data team and the responsible Curator(s) will be automatically notified about Data Collections finalized for publishing. If the respective Data Collection is in concordance with the Discuss Data guidelines, it will be accepted for publication. After the Data Depositor publishes the Data Collection, it is made accessible to others in accordance with the access and licence type specified by the Data Depositor. The Data Depositors can choose between three access modi: a) open access, b) restricted access, and c) no access ("Metadata only"). Also, data owners can choose between different licences that define the copyrights and usage for downloaders of the Data Collection.

For scientific citation, Discuss Data assigns a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) (provided by the project partner DARIAH-DE) to each Data Collection.

Discuss Data Preparation Grant

Discuss Data Preparation Grants

Discuss Data offers grants to support the preparation of open access Data Collections for publication on the Discuss Data platform (

Eligible are Data Collections which belong to one of the curated topics of the Discuss Data platform (in case of doubts consult with the responsible curator). It is a precondition for any grant application that the respective data collection (or large parts of it) can be published open access on Discuss Data.

The grant has two forms:

(1) The Discuss Data grants cover expenses of up to 1,000 EUR related to the cleaning and preparation of a Data Collection for open access (e.g. scanning documents, anonymizing interviews, adding metadata) and for the preparation of accompanying detailed data description (“Documentation of Data Collection”).

The grant application should be no longer than one page and provide concise information on
(1 paragraph each):

  • the topic and content of the data collection
  • the relevance of the data collection for research on the topic
  • the steps needed to prepare the data collection for upload
  • the requested budget with a short justification

(2) The Hans Koschnick Scholarships provide support for a stay of two to four weeks at the Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen. This stay can be used to prepare a Data Collection for upload on the Discuss Data platform in consultation with the Discuss Data team. The stay is supported with a travel allowance of 500 EUR (300 EUR if travelling from Germany), as well as a living allowance of up to 500 EUR for a maximum stay of four weeks.

Due to covid-19 related travel restrictions applications are currently not possible!

As soon as there is a new call for applications it will be published at

Download the Preparation Grant as a PDF-File.

Discuss Data Grant Recipients

The following researchers/institutions were supported with a Discuss Data Preparation Grant (as of November 2020):

Centre for Independent Social Research (CISR), St. Petersburg.