Administrators are assigned by the RADAR customer. They set up and manage workspaces in RADAR, assign curators or subcurators for workspaces, define quota and view statistics. One or more administrators can be assigned to each contract. RADAR communicates important information (releases, maintenance downtimes or unplanned system failures, etc.) to administrators by e-mail.
RADAR provides an API, i.e. a programming interface. Using the API, RADAR services can be integrated into existing applications at your institution. For example, RADAR can be offered via an institution's own user interface. The RADAR API is REST-based. The documentation of the API is available here. The system can be offered in parallel via the API and the regular RADAR user interface.
Digital data consists of a fixed sequence of bits that are stored on data carriers. This sequence is called a bitstream. Since the lifetime and reliability of storage media is limited, individual bits may no longer be read correctly after longer time periods. This leads to loss of information. Bitstream preservation uses technical measures such as checksums and redundancy to ensure that the Bitstream remains unchanged over time and after changes in technology. It is a basic prerequisite for digital long-term preservation.
A controlled vocabulary is a collection of terms intended to facilitate the uniform description of objects. Controlled vocabularies enable the interoperability of metadata and thus promote the search for and finding of relevant objects. For example, the RADAR Metadata Schema uses controlled vocabularies to assign one or more subject(s) or the language to a dataset. When selecting the controlled vocabularies, recognized standards were used, e.g. ISO standards for the language and country of origin of the research data.
Creative Commons Licenses
Data providers are offered various licensing models for defining rights of use for research data. Licenses are standard contracts that allow certain actions (e.g. reading, copying, redistributing, modifying, combining with other data) for a licensed object. RADAR recommends the use of liberal and widespread licenses, as they facilitate reuse of research data. RADAR recommends Creative Commons licenses due to their wide distribution. They are also suitable for research data. For more information on licensing of research data, please refer to our overview.
A curator is a data provider with full rights. Curators can transfer research data to RADAR, add metadata and archive or publish datasets. They are assigned by the administrator and are responsible for the research data of the respective workspace. One or more curators can be assigned to a workspace. A curator can assign subcurators and grant selected registered users access to archived datasets.
RADAR offers data archiving for retention periods between 5 and 15 years. This fulfills the requirements of good scientific practice and many funding agencies to retain data for a longer period after a project is completed. Each archived dataset is assigned an identifier in the form of a RADAR-ID. RADAR uses bitstream preservation to ensure that the data remains unchanged for the retention period. In contrast to data publication, archived data sets and respective metadata can only be viewed and accessed by administrators and curators or subcurators of the workspace. Optionally, access can also be granted to selected registered users or to all RADAR users.
Data Management Plan
A data management plan (DMP) is used to document all decisions and processes relating to the handling of research data in a project. Ideally, a DMP is created before the start of a project during the application for research funds. It should be continually reviewed and adapted during the course of the project ("living document"). A DMP can also be used to apply for funds for adequate data publication or archiving. Prices for RADAR services can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact us at info [at] radar-serivce.eu.
Data providers are third parties authorized by the RADAR contract partner (usually employees of the institution) to archive or publish research data with RADAR and to transfer data to RADAR for this purpose. RADAR distinguishes between data providers with full rights (curators) and data providers with limited rights (subcurators).
Unlike data archiving, data publication involves RADAR making research data and its metadata publicly accessible. Each record is assigned a unique and persistent identifier in the form of a DOI. Optionally, the curator can also define an embargo period for datasets. Published datasets can be cited and reused by third parties in accordance with the license terms. RADAR guarantees the availability of published datasets for at least 25 years.
A dataset consists of one or more files (e.g. organized in directories) and descriptions in the form of metadata. Datasets are created and edited by curators and subcurators in the workspace. With RADAR, datasets can either be archived or published. Each dataset is assigned an identifier (DOI or RADAR-ID). To create a new dataset, individual files as well as multiple files in compressed form, for example ZIP, TAR, GZIP or other, can be uploaded. Any directories are automatically adopted for the dataset. RADAR recommends the use of file formats suitable for long-term preservation.
Digital Long-Term Preservation
Digital long-term preservation aims at ensuring the long-term availability of digital documents, e.g. research data. It involves two levels. On the one hand, bitstream preservation ensures that the data remains unchanged over time. Functional long-term preservation aims at maintaining the interpretability of the data and can include measures such as migration or emulation. RADAR guarantees the readability of the datasets within the retention period specified by the customer (5-15 years) for archived datasets or for at least 25 years for published datasets. To ensure that the data can be interpreted and used, RADAR recommends the use of suitable file formats. For further information on suitable file formats, please refer to this overview.
A digital repository is an information infrastructure that securely stores digital objects and, if desired, makes them accessible. The objects - for example research data - are described with metadata and provided with identifiers. In this way, research data can be found, cited and (according to the license conditions) reused. RADAR was created as a digital repository for research data from the so-called "long tail" disciplines.
DOI - Digital Object Identifier
A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a character string consisting of a prefix and a suffix (e.g. DOI: 10.1000/123456) that uniquely identifies a digital object, such as a journal article or a dataset. The identifier permanently refers to the assigned object. DOIs make it easier to find and cite research data and link datasets to other publications. In RADAR, each published dataset is automatically assigned a DOI, which is registered with the global organization DataCite.
An embargo defines a period in which published datasets are not accessible, but the metadata records are publicly visible. The dataset is made accessible after the embargo period has expired. On one hand, data publications in RADAR can be delayed with embargo periods of 1 to 12 months, for example to fulfil requirements of journals.
In individual cases, however, there may be reasons not to make research data permanently publicly accessible, e.g. in the context of patent applications or confidentiality clauses in cooperation agreements. In this case, research data can be published with an unlimited embargo. In this case, only the descriptive metadata will be published; the actual research data will remain permanently hidden from public view for the entire retention period. Nevertheless, these datasets can be shared individually with other RADAR users via a request or release option.
The acronym FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. The FAIR Principles (Wilkinson, M., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, I. et al. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Sci Data 3, 160018 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18) define measures to make research data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. Many players in science policy, including research funders, support the call for FAIR Data. The goal should be to ensure that research data is optimally prepared and accessible for both humans and machines, and that existing databases can be reused to answer new research questions - if technical and legal conditions allow.
RADAR also supports the FAIR principles and strives to implement them. The service features and measures with which RADAR achieves this can be seen in this detailed view (PDF, in German).
Not all file formats are suitable for the long-term preservation of research data. Formats should meet the standards of the respective discipline, be completely open and documented where possible. Some formats that facilitate the reusability of data are well established. RADAR has compiled an overview of recommended file formats for different object types, but this list is not exhaustive.
Curators describe datasets with metadata before they are published. This increases the visibility and findability of the research data published with RADAR. Metadata is shared with other services (e.g. DataCite, OAI Provider) in a standardized way.
Good scientific practice
Rules for good scientific practice serve as a framework of integrity in the scientific processes. In Germany, these rules are reflected in the recommendations of the German Research Foundation (DFG) for safeguarding good scientific practice. With regard to research data, it is recommended that: "When scientific and academic findings are made publicly available, the research data (generally raw data) on which they are based are generally archived in an accessible and identifiable manner for a period of ten years at the institution where the data were produced or in cross-location repositories." (Explanation to Guideline 17: Archiving). Data providers can comply with this recommendation by archiving data in RADAR.
The term "harvesting" refers to the systematic collection and processing of metadata from databases, repositories and other sources. RADAR supports this process via an OAI-PMH interface that enables the harvesting of metadata published in RADAR. This increases the visibility, finability and reusability of the published research data.
Identifiers are character strings that uniquely identify (digital) objects. Objects can be datasets (DOI or RADAR-ID), persons (ORCID) or terms from a controlled vocabulary (Funder-ID). Some identifiers (so-called persistent identifiers) refer permanently to the assigned object and remain stable over time. Identifiers enable the reliable and permanent addressing and disambiguation of objects. They support interoperability and thus facilitate findability and citation of research data.
RADAR was created as a repository for research data from the so-called "long tail" disciplines. These disciplines produce many small datasets. These datasets usually differ in the method of data collection and are therefore difficult to standardize. RADAR is suitable for archiving and publishing datasets from all disciplines.
Metadata ("data about data") describe properties and content of objects, for example research data. Metadata of a dataset in RADAR include descriptive metadata, which enables others to find, reference and reuse the data (e.g. title, creator, subject or identifier of a dataset). They are created by curators and subcurators. Additionally, RADAR generates technical metadata (e.g. information on volume, format and checksums) that are relevant for long-term preservation. The system automatically creates metadata for long-term preservation in accordance with the PREMIS standard, in which all events from the first upload to the creation of copies during migration to newer storage media are recorded and documented. The metadata of the datasets published with RADAR are publicly accessible. In the process of DOI assignment and registration, the metadata are automatically converted into the DataCite format. At the same time, the metadata is converted into the DublinCore format so that it can be publicly offered for harvesting via an OAI provider. The documentation of the RADAR metadata schema is available here.
RADAR allows the retroactive correction of descriptive metadata. This may be necessary for many reasons (typing errors, missing entries, subsequent referencing of the text publication as a related resource, etc.). During metadata correction, only the metadata catalog and the description on the RADAR landing page are updated. RADAR does not create a new dataset, nor does the system assign a new persistent identifier (e.g., DOI). The research dataset (.tar-file) stored in the data archives remains unchanged, as does the technical metadata including checksum (MD5).
A note on the RADAR landing page transparently informs data users about the metadata correction. The updated descriptive metadata is displayed there and is available for download (.xml). RADAR submits the metadata corrections of published datasets to DataCite and also offers them for harvesting via our OAI provider. Metadata can be flexibly corrected at all levels of a RADAR dataset (dataset and files and directories contained therein). Both subcurators and curators can correct metadata, but only curators may give final approval of the correction. All updated metadata is checked against the RADAR metadata schema.
Please note: Information contained in the metadata fields "Persistent Identifier" and "Rights Statement" cannot be corrected. If there is a need for correction here, you must create a new dataset at the current point of time.
An ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a character string that uniquely identifies a researcher. This identifier permanently refers to the same person. This makes it easier to connect publications to their authors - even if several authors share the same name or if a person transfers to another institution. More information on ORCID is provided here. Data providers in RADAR can identify the persons involved in the creation of the dataset by specifying the respective ORCIDs in the metadata record.
After the upload to a workspace, a dataset is initially stored in the temporary storage and is marked as "Pending". In this status, curators or subcurators can edit the datasets by adding or deleting files or directories and the metadata. Datasets can be left in the temporary storage in pending status for up to 6 months. When the dataset is archived or published, it is moved from temporary to permanent storage.
Person responsible for data packages
When a workspace is created, the e-mail address of a responsible person must be specified. This person will be contacted at the end of the retention period in order to clarify how the archived research data should be handled. As archived datasets can be retained for up to 15 years, the responsible person and the e-mail address should be chosen carefully. RADAR recommends the use of functional addresses (e.g. library [at] my-institution.com) instead of personal e-mail addresses.
Quota refer to the adjustable maximum size of storage space. RADAR distinguishes between three different quota: one for temporary storage, another for archived datasets and a third for published datasets. They are mainly used to control the costs for the institution that signed the contract with RADAR. Quota are defined by the administrator for each contract and workspace. Data providers can only upload, archive or publish data to the RADAR platform until the respective quota has been exceeded. The administrator can increase the defined quota at any time, which can lead to additional costs.
RADAR4Chem is a free service for sustainable publication and preservation of research data from all disciplines of chemistry according to the FAIR principles. Through persistent identifiers (DOI) and a guaranteed retention period, the data remain available, citable and findable in the long term. The service is (currently exclusively) aimed at researchers in the field of chemistry at publicly funded research institutions and universities in Germany. The service is low-threshold and easy to use; no contract is required. Researchers are responsible for the upload, organisation, annotation and curation of research data as well as the peer-review process (as an optional step) and finally their publication.
RADAR4Chem is based on the research data repository RADAR Cloud and was developed as part of FIZ Karlsruhe's participation in the chemistry consortium NFDI4Chem (funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) - 441958208) within the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). RADAR4Chem serves as a "catch-all" repository that complements the existing portfolio of subject-specific repositories for research data in chemistry and is ideally suited, for example, for cross-disciplinary data or data sets with a variety of different data formats. More information.
RADAR4Culture is a free service for sustainable publication and preservation of cultural studies research data according to the FAIR principles. Through persistent identifiers (DOI) and a guaranteed retention period, the data remain available, citable and findable in the long term. The service is (currently exclusively) aimed at researchers at publicly funded research institutions and (art) universities as well as non-commercial academies, galleries, libraries, archives and museums in Germany. The service is low-threshold and easy to use, no contract is required. Researchers are responsible for the upload, organisation, annotation and curation of research data as well as the peer-review process (as an optional step) and finally their publication.
RADAR4Culture is based on the research data repository RADAR Cloud and was developed as part of FIZ Karlsruhe's participation in the consortium for research data on tangible and intangible cultural assets NFDI4Culture (funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) - 441958017) within the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). RADAR4Culture serves here as a "catch-all" repository that complements the already existing portfolio of subject-specific repositories for cultural heritage research data and is ideally suited, for example, for cross-disciplinary data or data sets with a variety of different data formats. More information.
RADAR Cloud, a "software as a service" solution, offers an entire research data repository hosted on a secure, privacy-compliant cloud platform in Germany. FIZ Karlsruhe operates an instance of the RADAR software for RADAR Cloud at Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC) of Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) and provides both temporary storage for organizing research data and permanent storage for archived and published research data. Three copies of the datasets are permanently stored at different locations in the SCC and at Zentrum für Informationsdienste und Hochleistungsrechnen (ZIH) of TU Dresden, Germany. More information.
Institutions using the variant RADAR Hybrid can store their research data in their own archive by means of the hosted RADAR software. Both the local data processing center or an external storage service can be integrated into RADAR as an alternative storage infrastructure.The storage systems (hard disk or tape) will be connected to RADAR Hybrid via an SFTP interface. More information.
A RADAR-ID is a character string that uniquely identifies a dataset within the RADAR system. This identifier permanently refers to the assigned dataset. All archived datasets are assigned a RADAR-ID.
With the variant RADAR Local, FIZ Karlsruhe operates and maintains the RADAR software on behalf of the using institution on the institution’s local IT infrastructure and only using the institution’s own storage systems (hard disk or tape). The institution can design its own start page according to individual needs and offer the service under a web address of its choice. The using institution itself acts as the service provider. More information.
RADAR is available in 3 variants: Cloud, Hybrid and Local. All variants use the same RADAR software. With all three variants, the institution using them is responsible for managing the RADAR work environment, uploading data, organizing research data and describing them by metadata, and for curating the datasets. While RADAR Cloud does not require any technical infrastructure at the using institutions, own IT resources can be integrated into RADAR Hybrid and RADAR Local. Comparison Sheet (in German language ony) / Detailed information
RADAR metadata schema
RADAR uses the RADAR metadata schema, which was developed during the DFG-funded project phase and is continuously updated. It is based on the DataCite metadata schema 4.4, a widely used standard for describing datasets without regard to discipline, and is compatible with DublinCore. It contains ten mandatory fields, including the basic requirements for DOI registration in accordance with the DataCite schema. In addition, 13 optional parameters that are transferable to different scientific disciplines are also available. The RADAR metadata schema offers a combination of free text fields, controlled lists and selection options for standardized or normalized entries, e.g. ORCID for persons (fields: author, contributor, publisher, rights holder), ROR for institutions (fields: author, contributor, publisher, funding organisation), Crossref Funder Registry (field: funding organisation) and GND, the Integrated Authority File (field: keywords). More information.
Different user groups are granted different access rights in RADAR. Administrators, curators and subcurators must be registered with RADAR in order to make use of their rights. Access to archived datasets also requires registration with RADAR and approval by the responsible administrator or curator. All users have access to the search function and to published datasets.
Research data are digital data which are, depending on the subject context, the subject of a research process, are created in the course of such a process or are its result.
vgl. Kindling, M.; Schirmbacher, P. (2013): „Die digitale Forschungswelt“ als Gegenstand der Forschung. In: Information: Wissenschaft und Praxis 64 (2/3), S. 127–136. 10.1515/iwp-2013-0017
RADAR enables the preservation of datasets over a defined period of time, the retention period (5, 10, 15 years). The curator determines the retention period for archived datasets (only the 10-year holding period is available in the billing model per one-off payment). Once the retention period has expired, the dataset is deleted. The retention period is unlimited for published datasets and RADAR guarantees a retention period of at least 25 years. For more information, please refer to the RADAR service description (only available in German).
Review of Research Data
RADAR supports a review process prior to data publication. For this purpose, a dataset can be moved from the status "Pending" to the status "In Review". In this status the dataset can not be changed. RADAR generates a unique link which the data provider can pass on to the reviewers. The reviewers can use this link to access unpublished datasets without prior authentication. Datasets with the status "In Review" are kept in the temporary storage. Once the peer review process has been completed, the data provider can either return the status of the dataset to "Pending" or publish the dataset. In both cases, the previously created unique link is rendered invalid. The status of a dataset can be set to "In Review" several times in succession.
The subcurator is a data provider with restricted rights. Subcurators can only upload data to RADAR and add metadata. They can read and access the datasets in the workspace they are assigned to. Unlike curators, they cannot archive or publish datasets. Subcurators are assigned to a specific workspace by the administrator or curator. One or more subcurators can be assigned to a workspace.
In RADAR, the temporary storage is used for editing and reviewing of datasets in the workspace. After the upload, a dataset is initially stored in the temporary storage, which is indicated by the status "In progress". In this status, curators or subcurators can edit the dataset by adding or deleting files or directories and by adding metadata. Datasets can be left in temporary storage for up to 6 months. If datasets are archived or published, they no longer occupy any space in temporary storage. Datasets with the status "In Review" are also stored in temporary storage. The annual basic fee includes a volume of temporary storage sufficient for most purposes. If required, the temporary storage space can be extended for a fee.
Different user groups are granted different access rights in RADAR. Unregistered users ("anonymous users") have access to the search function and to published datasets. Administrators, curators and subcurators must be registered with RADAR in order to make use of their rights. Access to archived datasets requires registration in RADAR and approval by the respective curator
The workspace is the central entry point for researchers who want to archive or publish research data with RADAR. A workspace is typically set up for a working group, an organisational unit or a project. It provides an overview of the existing datasets. Research data can be uploaded and described with metadata in the workspace. At least one curator is assigned to each workspace by the administrator. The curator manages the workspace and decides on the publication or archiving of datasets, defines specifications for the metadata and manages access rights to the workspace and archived datasets. Several workspaces can be set up for each RADAR contract.