Research data are valuable and ubiquitous. Permanent access to research data is a challenge for all stakeholders in the scientific community. Long-term preservation and the principle of open access to research data offer broad opportunities for the scientific community. In the last decade, more and more universities and research centres established research data repositories allowing permanent access to data sets in a trustworthy environment. Due to disciplinary requirements, the landscape of data repositories is very heterogeneous. Thus, it is difficult for researchers, funding bodies, publishers, and scholarly institutions to select appropriate repositories for storing and searching research data.

Re3data is a global registry of research data repositories that covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. It includes repositories that enable permanent storage of and access to data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers, and scholarly institutions. re3data promotes a culture of sharing, increased access and better visibility of research data. The registry has gone live in autumn 2012 and has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Project partners in re3data are the Berlin School of Library and Information Science at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Helmholtz Open Science Office at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the KIT Library at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Libraries of the Purdue University. The German partners are actively involved in the German Initiative for Network Information (DINI) and current research data management activities.

Publishers and journals like Copernicus Publications, PeerJ, as well as Springer and Nature’s Scientific Data refer to re3data.org in their Editorial Policies as a tool for the easy identification of appropriate data repositories to store research data.

The use of re3data is also recommended in the European Commission’s “Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020”.

In March 2013, re3data and Databib announced to merge their two directories into one service that is managed under the auspices of DataCite since the end of 2015. The aim of this merger was to reduce duplication of effort and to better serve the research community with a single, sustainable registry of research data repositories that incorporates the best features of both projects.

Starting in January 2020, the German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding re3data’s project “re3data - Community Driven Open Reference for Research Data Repositories (COREF)” over a period of 36 months. The goal of the project is to connect re3data as the reference for research data repositories with other services and infrastructures. Therefore, re3data is going to provide customizable and extendable core repository descriptions that are persistently identifiable and can be referred to and cited in an appropriate manner. This includes unique identification in machine-to-machine communication. The technical platform will be advanced to facilitate the reuse of reliable and trustworthy information on research data repositories. External parties and their integration of repository descriptions from re3data will play a major role in the project. Re3data will further develop its framework as a service for third parties to build applications and foster the usage of re3data as a community-driven source and reference for trustworthy repositories among the scientific community. This includes an elaborated API as well as easily embeddable widgets and tools.


Berlin School of Library and Information Science

The Berlin School of Library and Information Science is the only academic institution in German-speaking countries where students can obtain a BA, MA, or PhD in the field of Library and Information Science. The Berlin School was elected to membership in the iSchool Caucus in 2009, an indication of its role as one of the leading programs in Library and Information Science internationally.

The Berlin School of Library and Information Science provides expertise in Information Behavior, Information Management, Information Retrieval, and Information Processing and Analytics. These areas address the interaction between humans and technology as well as the transformation of scholarly communication due to digitization.


DataCite is a global non-profit organisation that provides persistent identifiers (DOIs) for research data and other research outputs. DataCite is a membership organization working with the repository community on services to create, find, cite, connect, and use research. As an active participant in the research community, DataCite promotes data sharing and citation through community-building efforts and outreach activities.

Helmholtz Open Science Office

The Helmholtz Open Science Office at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences supports the Helmholtz Association in shaping the cultural change towards Open Science. The Office is a partner of all actors involved in this process within Helmholtz. It promotes dialogue on the topic, provides impulses to the association, and represents the Helmholtz Association positions on Open Science at national and international level.

KIT Library

KIT Library is the central library of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is one of the largest research and higher education organisations in the world focusing on engineering and natural sciences.

The library offers a wide range of services for research and scientific education. The KIT Library has a long experience of developing and managing digital libraries. In cooperation with other service providers on campus the library supports scientists with data management services.

The KIT is operating the

Purdue University Libraries

The Purdue University Libraries system is based in West Lafayette, Indiana (USA), and provides collections and services to support research and learning in subjects that comprise more than 200 majors for undergraduates, over 70 master’s and doctoral programs, and professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine.

Its Distributed Data Curation Center (D2C2) fosters research and collaboration in the domain of data curation and library science through initiatives like Databib, which is currently in the process of merging with re3data.org.