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Why should researchers bother to use domain-specific data repositories?

Domain-specific research data repositories are digital archives that manage and preserve research data (and/or software) from specific scientific disciplines. These repositories are designed to meet the unique needs of researchers in that particular domain. They foster new scientific innovations and ideas by means of sharing, storing, and reusing research data. Furthermore, domain-specific repositories have a special emphasis on:

  • Metadata curation
  • Standardized, domain specific, rich metadata
  • Support of sharing and collaboration
  • Community engagement

The metadata curation processes and workflows implemented by domain-specific repositories ensure quality and metadata enrichment. As a consequence, scientists can rely on well-structured, high-quality data publications that have been verified by domain experts resulting in enhanced reproducibility and reliability of research results.

Domain-specific repositories support sharing and knowledge transfer among scientists within their particular field of research. This promotes transparency, collaboration, and the potential for interdisciplinary research. Scientists can also discover and explore datasets contributed by their peers, enabling new insights and discoveries.

Here we present the role of domain-specific data repositories, their role for Open Science. Introducing GFZ Data Services, a research data repository for the Earth System Sciences, we also highlight our metadata tools. In place since 2006, GFZ Data Services is embedded at the intersection between researchers and the modern digital data curation world. We consult researchers and make sure that data and metadata are ready to use for data-driven research. By publishing throughout us, scientists benefit from improved data accessibility, collaborative opportunities, long-term storage and subsequently an increased impact.


Florian Ott1, Kirsten Elger1, Simone Frenzel1
1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany
GeoBerlin 2023