Reuse data

Reusing research data can accelerate the research process, as research data do not have to be collected again in a time-consuming and costly manner. Consequently, researchers can build on existing work or use third-party research data for meta-analyses. Reusablility of data is especially crucial when it involves unique, rare, or difficult-to-reproduce research data. We show you ways to find such data and what to consider when dealing with secondary data.

Find data

There are several ways to search for research data:

  • Search engines
    Search engines retrieve metadata from various sources, such as repositories, data centers, and archives. DataCite Commons lists all datasets tagged with a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). In BASE, one of the world's leading search engines for scientific publications, you can explicitly filter for research data. Other recommended search engines include B2FIND,, Explore OpenAire, and Mendeley Data.
  • Repositories
    Look for subject-specific repositories in the repository registry. A discipline-specific repository has the advantage of mapping a thematically appropriate data selection. If discipline-specific metadata standards are used, the corresponding data are described in more detail and can be searched and found more precisely.
  • Data Journals
    Data journals contain so-called Data Papers which describe research data in detail. Usually, the data sets have been peer-reviewed. The research data is often stored in a repository and is linked to the data paper via a persistent identifier. To find research data, search Data Journals specific to your discipline.
  • Journal articles
    Journal publishers, research funders, and academic institutions increasingly require that the underlying research data be published to accompany the publication of journal articles. Generally, the article links to the storage location of the research data via a persistent identifier. This means that you can also access relevant research data from journal articles.

Evaluate data

You have found research data and now want to evaluate its quality - the following questions can help you:

Cite data

In the spirit of good scientific practice, research data must be cited like any other source. Find more detailed information on citations in the TUM Citation Guide and learn more in the citation courses offered by the University Library.

Legal aspects & licenses

Legal regulations and licenses must be observed when reusing existing data. The following two handouts of the University Library offer overviews on the legal requirements:   

Get in touch!

For questions about reusing research data, please feel free to contact us at!