Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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 What is RADAR?

RADAR is an interdisciplinary digital repository which provides preservation and publication services primarily for long tail research data.

The technical infrastructure of RADAR is provided by the FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure and the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC). The Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (LMU), Faculty for Chemistry and Pharmacy, and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB) provide scientific specification for data management services. The sustainable management and publication of research data is ensured by the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB).

 What research data management services does RADAR provide?

For research projects and institutions:

RADAR offers a two-stage service with a starter package for preserving research data and a superior package for data publication with integrated data preservation.

Starter package ‘Preservation’
In the starter package, RADAR offers format-independent data preservation with a minimum metadata set. Data providers are given the opportunity to store their data in compliance with specified long-term storage periods (e.g. 10 years, according to DFG recommendations). This service ensures a secure storage of research data (without publication). By default, the metadata will not be published, unless specified otherwise by the data provider. For further information on the starter package, please see Data Preservation in the RADAR Glossary.

Advanced package ‘Data publication with integrated data preservation’
In the advanced package, RADAR offers a combined service of research data publication and preservation. For each published dataset, RADAR provides a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to enable researchers to clearly reference data and to guarantee data accessibility. Additionally, datasets can be enriched with discipline-specific metadata. For further information on the superior package, please see Data Publication on the RADAR Glossary.

For publishers:

Publishing companies may also benefit from the RADAR services, by archiving or publishing the research data supporting the published manuscripts. This increases both the visibility and transparency of the scientific work. One aim is to integrate research data in the manuscript peer-review process. An interface for the joint submission of the manuscript and the corresponding data is currently being developed and RADAR is actively seeking cooperation with publishing companies.

 What are the benefits of depositing my research data in RADAR?

With the rapid increase in digital data production, a suitable research data management is becoming more and more important. Depositing research data in RADAR ensures that you meet the requirements of funding agencies and of Good Scientific Practice such as secure preservation and open access to all published datasets. RADAR’s optional service to publish your research data enhances the visibility of your research and facilitates data-sharing. Thus, other researchers will be able to find, reuse and cite your data. Published datasets can be added to your personal citation record and can lead to a higher citation rate of your articles. Furthermore, data-sharing avoids duplicate investigations, thus motivating scientists to conduct new research and increases the collaboration within the scientific community.

 How much does it cost?

RADAR offers a free (open) access to all published data. Additionally, an author/rights owner (curator) may selectively allow access to his/her data and metadata under the preservation service. In these cases, a registration as a RADAR user is necessary for viewing and downloading the corresponding contents.

The costs for RADAR’s preservation and publication services are paid by the administrators (contractual partners) and eventually covered by funding agencies. RADAR provides the option of an annual payment. Data are archived/published for the duration of the contract. Costs depend on data volumes required and on the length of the storage period. RADAR encourages researchers to include cost estimates in grant proposals in order to receive funding for research data preservation and publication.

Expected prices for academic customers (Universities & Research Facilities), based on an annual payment (net price):
Contract Service Charge:            500,00 €/year
Per 1 GB archived data:                   0,39 €/year
Per 1 GB published data:                 0,39 €/year

The prices listed above are valid for academic, non-commercial institutions such as universities and research institutes only. For commercial customers different price rates apply; please inquire at

 How is the RADAR Project funded?

The RADAR project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) from 2013 to 2016. The project is placed within the program “Scientific Library Services and Information Systems (LIS)”. From the beginning, the aim of RADAR was to develop a sustainable and transparent business model. This model includes one-off and yearly payments by administrators depending on data volumes and storage periods. The specific costs for these services will be available within the next months.

 Can RADAR help me prepare a data management plan?

If you are preparing a data management plan for a proposal, consider the following aspects concerning data preservation and publication in RADAR: First, what volume of data do you expect to collect? Try to estimate which part of the data qualifies only for preservation and which part qualifies also for publishing. Advice on the selection of data and data formats can also be found in the Glossary. Second, find out which storage period your funding agency or your institution requires for research data. RADAR encourages researchers to include cost estimates in grant proposals in order to receive funding for research data preservation and publication. For archived / published data RADAR provides an identifier (Handle or DOI, respectively) and a citation quote which can be used to clearly reference and verify data preservation & publication for funders/third-parties. Furthermore a service desk will provide further information and help you with questions regarding data management services.

 I am a publisher/academic institution. What services does RADAR provide for us?

Publishers/academic institutions are a primary customer group. They may use RADAR for example to store and publish research data from academic studies, such as scientific articles and PhD theses. For data publications, they will be able to link the respective datasets displayed in RADAR to their own landing pages using e.g. the provided persistent identifier (DOI) and vice versa. This basic principle of ‘linked open data’ facilitates the reuse of the resources and increases the citability of both, scientific article & underlying data. Furthermore, an additional front-end and ‘branding’ support for publishers/institutions is planned for the third year of the project (2016).

 Will the software itself be included as one of the products, so that others can deploy it on their own infrastructure and (if so) is it based on Fedora/eSciDoc?

RADAR is built using "eSciDoc Next Generation" (eSciDoc NG), which is a new and completely re-engineered version of eSciDoc. It does not include Fedora any longer, but is (as RADAR will be) open source and licensed under ASL 2.0


Access Rights


 Are the RADAR services available/open for all academic researchers? Are there any minimal requirements?

In general, any researcher can benefit from the RADAR services, but these are especially intended for scientists who wish to publish or archive their data, institutes (such as libraries, research institutes, museums/archives) and publishers.

 Is it possible to change the administrator (contractual partner), and transfer this role to another person?

Yes, this should be possible in future product-releases and taken into consideration in the RADAR-Terms of Use (AGBs).

 Who is the contact person for the respective research data and how is this sustainably managed?

In order to deposit data in RADAR a contractual partner (=administrator) must be stated. He/She will act as the contact person for the datasets on the respective workspaces. If necessary, the administrative status may be transferred to others, thus allowing a sustainable role management.

Published Data (landing page):
The relevant contact person or institute (= rights holder) will be indicated on the landing page of the each published dataset.

 What does "Curator" mean? Can a curator be a single person - a scientist - who wishes to publish his/her data?

In RADAR, a curator is a registered user who has read and write privileges, may describe (metadata) and archive/publish data, within an assigned workspace. Furthermore, the curator may appoint sub-curators and manages access to datasets for registered users. The administrator may nominate as many curators to a workspace as he/she wishes to.

 Does RADAR verify the curators?

No, the administrator has the sole responsibility to choose the curator.

 Are there any additional authentication mechanisms, other than a user-registration and login in RADAR? Is it possible to use an ORCID ID or DFN-AAI to register or login?

RADAR aims to remain as interoperable for the user as possible, and for this purpose, the implementation of ORCID-compatibility is planned (2016). An authentication using institutional credentials (DFN-AAI federation) is already possible via the Shibboleth single sign-on system.

 Is the RADAR system exclusive for data which is meant for publication?

No, it is possible to publish or to archive (and selectively provide specific access-rights) to datasets in RADAR.

 To whom belong datasets deposited in RADAR?

This is specified in the RADAR-Terms of Use (AGBs). The following principles apply:

  • The German Copyright Code (“Urheberrechtsgesetz”) does not allow the transfer of the copyright to other persons or cooperations, except by inheritance.
  • The curator decides and specifies the rights-of-use and the licence under which the data is published or archived.
  • Upon signing a mutual contract with RADAR, the customer grants the necessary rights for the repository to provide its services.
  • In order to stimulate data reuse, RADAR recommends data to be published under a Creative Commons Licence (e.g. CC-BY). The specification of a licence and a rights-holder (person or institution) are mandatory fields in the RADAR-metadata scheme.
 How is the data-access managed? Is it possible to grant data-access to a specific person?

There are different access possibilities, which depend on the requested service:

Data Preservation:
A.) There are 3 options for metadata: 1. publicly visible/searchable, 2. visible/searchable only for specific users, 3. not visible/searchable.
B.) Archived datasets are, by default, not publicly visible/searchable. However, the Curator may grant access to a specific RADAR-user, thus allowing data visualization and download.

Data Publication:
A.) Metadata is always publicly visible in RADAR and in DataCite (which attributes a DOI to the dataset). Additionally, they may be harvested by third parties.
B.) Datasets are published under an open access policy. Optionally, an embargo time may be set. The download of published datasets is always possible.

 Is it possible to see who downloaded the datasets I uploaded and published in RADAR?

Download-statistics (=number of downloads) will be provided for each customer and the respective datasets. However, no personal information will be collected or communicated by RADAR, due to our privacy policy.

 Is there volume limit for data submission?

In principle there are no limitations on data volume.

 How long is data preserved? Which options does RADAR offer? Are there any standard preservation periods?

RADAR offers:

  • The standard time periods for the Data Preservation service are 5, 10 or 15 years, with the possibility of an optional extension. Specific archival times may also be negotiated individually, if required.
  • In the case of Data Publication, RADAR guarantees access for an "unlimited" time period (25 years + factor X).
 Can the time period for the Data Preservation service be extended, e.g. upon request?

The data preservation period can be extended during or before its expiration.

 How and when are data deleted? Does this occur after a certain time period, or upon request?

Data Preservation service: The respective contact person will be reminded of the expiration of a given preservation period six months and shortly before the actual deadline. Data will be deleted if the contact person ignores these reminders and takes no action.

Data Publication service: RADAR guarantees access for an "unlimited" time period (25 years + factor X).

 Is data redundantly stored?

Yes, two copies shall be generated and stored at different geographical locations.

 Is data checked for integrity?

Yes, data integrity shall be regularly checked.

 Is it possible for the customer to decide on storage media (tape/spinning-disk) and the time necessary for data access (synchronous/asynchronous)?

No, the customer can only choose between the available RADAR-services: Data Preservation (medium to slow data-access) or Publication (fast data-access).

Data Upload


 How do I upload data(sets)?

In order to upload data to RADAR an account for the test-system must be set up - instructions can be found here. Please note that curator rights are required in order to upload data into the system. Currently, only data in .ZIP format is accepted. The final system with full functionalities will be released in 2016.

 Which data types and formats can be archived?

There are no restrictions on data formats - all types of data can be stored in RADAR (except personal/personally identifiable data). To ensure long-term usability of data RADAR recommends the usage of common formats - for a list of recommended formats please refer to the Glossary: Data formats.

A dataset deposited in RADAR can e.g. comprise raw data, primary data, intermediate (working) data, secondary data and files describing the data and documenting the research process. Notably, RADAR accepts both data underlying scientific articles and standalone data publications, e.g. ‘negative data’.

However, RADAR is not a text repository for scientific pre-prints, doctoral theses or other grey literature, unless they are explicitly a part of the dataset that was used during the scientific analyses.

 Can a curator change or delete datasets? Is it possible to change datasets at all or make corrections in published datasets?

Yes, it is possible to change or delete datasets during the pending-state (= a temporary state - during this time a curator commits to a data publication or archival, which allows for data reorganization and annotation).

In order to assure a permanent citability/traceability, no further changes or corrections are allowed after the curator commits to data archival or publication. If later changes or corrections are required, a new dataset can be generated. In this new dataset, the corresponding metadata can refer to the previous one, using the parameters Related Identifier and Relation Type.

In cases where the deletion and retrieval of a published dataset is necessary, RADAR will in any case assure the citability of such a dataset by maintaining the corresponding Landing Page and metadata.

 Does RADAR maintain different versions of the same dataset?

The management of different dataset versions will not be pursued in RADAR. After the curator commits to data archival or publication no further changes or corrections are allowed. In the case that later changes or corrections are required, a new dataset can be generated. In this new dataset, the corresponding metadata can refer to the previous one, using the parameters Related Identifier and Relation Type.

 Does the chosen license apply to the whole dataset or for individual files?

Licenses are valid for the whole dataset. In cases where file-specific licences are required, the initial dataset should be separated into individual datasets.

 Is it possible to upload data in to RADAR automatically, instead of using the website?

Currently, it is only possible to upload data through the test system. An API is under development and will be available by the release of the final system (2016).

 What is the maximum file size I can upload?

Depending on the respective web browser used, RADAR supports the upload of data files of at least 10 GB. Please note that RADAR only supports version 11 of the Microsoft Internet Explorer, as older versions run out of support in 2016 and as such may present a potential security risk.

 Are .ZIP files automatically decompressed and readable?

Yes, it is possible to add, edit or delete data files from .ZIP files using the RADAR interface.

 Is it allowed to archive or publish data containing personally identifiable information in RADAR?

No, data containing personally identifiable information is not allowed in RADAR. This limitation will be clearly formulated in the RADAR-Terms of Use. Only anonymous or sufficiently anonymized data are allowed in RADAR.



 Is any descriptive metadata archived and published together with the corresponding dataset? Is any metadata standard used or is this up to the scientist?

Yes, a metadata scheme was developed in RADAR in which 8 mandatory fields have to be filled by the customer. These are administrative fields. The customer may wish to further describe the contents of a dataset by filling out the 13 optional metadata fields. A documentation of the RADAR metadata scheme can be found here: RADAR Metadata Documentation English v05 - please note that the scheme is fully compatible to the DataCite Metadata-Schema.

 How is the metadata-interoperability assured?

The RADAR metadata scheme is compatible with schemes used by DataCite and DublinCore. Additionally, RADAR-metadata is available on the DataCite MetadataStore and can be enriced with metadata from ORCID.

 Are there any quality control strategies for metadata (and the associated data)?

In order to assure the quality of metadata controlled vocabulary fields are used and the completeness of the scheme is monitored. Additionally, a technical quality control of research data is performed during the upload and subsequent storage (bitstream preservation) of data objects in the repository. Thereby the consistency of datasets is regularly checked and documented. The scientific quality control of the submitted metadata and data however lies in the responsibility of the RADAR customers (curators).

 Is it possible to submit metadata automatically (batch-system, over an API)?

Yes, the API documentation is provided here: RADAR API Documentation

 Is it possible to implement an additional, harvestable, subject-specific metadata scheme?

The user may choose to add subject-specific metadata in a separated file to be included within the dataset. Whether RADAR shall provide a search function for this type of metadata is an open issue at the present stage of development.

 Is metadata attributed to a dataset/.ZIP file or individually to all the containing data files? Is all metadata indexed and searchable?

Metadata is mandatory on the dataset-level. Optionally, metadata may also be attributed to individual files. These however will not be indexed and made searchable.

 Is it possible to choose a language? Is it possible to provide metadata in several languages?

The user (Administrator / Curator) is free to choose the language for the metadata. The user may also provide information on the language used within the dataset in the appropriate metadata parameter "Language". RADAR does not translate the provided metadata fields into other languages.

 Is it possible to download the RADAR metadata scheme?

The documentation on the RADAR metadata scheme is published and can be accessed here: RADAR Metadata Documentation English v05  An XML version of the scheme is provided over the user interface of the final service.

 Is it possible to provide a time span of several years under the field ‘production year’?

Yes. One single year (e.g. 2015) or a time span (2009-2015) may be given as 'production year'.

Data Reuse, DOI, Search


 Is data publicly available? Is data accessible through a persistent identifier (i.e. DOI)?

All published data in RADAR receive a DOI, and are publicly and permanently available (after an optional embargo period).

Data archived under the service Data Preservation are managed by the use of a handle. Archived datasets are, by default, not publicly visible/searchable. However, the curator may grant access to a specific RADAR-user, thus allowing data visualization and download.

 Do I have the option use an embargo for my data?

Yes, if you choose to publish your data in RADAR, you have the option to set an embargo date for the release of your data (up to one year). The embargo period can be prolonged if necessary. The metadata describing your dataset will be published already during the embargo and your datasets will be allocated with a DOI. This ensures that your dataset can be found and cited as soon as the data is deposited, while downloads will only be possible after the embargo has expired. 

 How do I cite data from RADAR?

You are free to choose any citation format. However, in accordance with Good Scientific Practice and international guidelines, the following citation format is strongly recommended:

Creator/Author(s) (Publication year): Resource Title. Publisher. Resource Type. Identifier (DOI)

 Is it possible to receive a DOI for a dataset on short notice? E.g., in order to supply a citation for a dataset together within a written scientific publication, or to a funding agency?

Yes, as long as a contract with RADAR already exists:
1. Option for the customer/scientist: RADAR provides a temporary DOI. The validity of the DOI is only confirmed after the dataset is published (which implies the completeness of the manadatory metadata fields ).
2. Option for scientific publishing companies: The publisher receives a temporary dataset with the corresponding DOI, e.g. in the context of the review process.

 Does a DOI refer to dataset or to individual data files?

The DOI always refers to a dataset. The user (administrator / curator) is free to decide on the contents of the dataset. A dataset may consist of one to multiple files packed in a .ZIP file.

 How does the system deal with different data types?

In RADAR all data types and formats are accepted. There are however recommendations concerning the appropriate data formats for long-term data preservation.

 Is it possible to perform a search for specific data formats (for example *.docx, *.pdf, *xml, etc.)?

This option is implemented as faceted search.

 Is it possible to search the contents of the dataset? Is it possible to search (subject-specific data) inside a published dataset?

RADAR offers a search tool at the level of the dataset and respective metadata. A subject-specific search within the dataset is not possible.

 Are there any implemented import/export strategies?

An API for RADAR is currently under development. The API will allow the import/export of data as well as metadata. Exported datasets will be provided as a BagIt-structure.

 Does my journal/publisher work with RADAR and how?

RADAR actively seeks cooperation with selected journals and the respective publishing companies, in order to develop an adequate workflow and the required functionality for the joint submission of research articles and the underlying research data. This service includes the publication of the data with DOI attribution and the possibility to include data in the peer-review process of the respective journal.

Test System


 How can I use the Test System?

Access & instructions are provided here.