Publishing Best Practices

It is important to treat your published research the way you would treat a published paper, and make sure that the metadata and content are of a quality that you would want associated with your research. The DOI on your resource is permanent, and while this affords many benefits, it means that the most essential aspects of your resource (content, title, authorship) are immutable. It is best to treat published resources as first class research products, as you would treat a paper published in a journal. For more detail see the HydroShare Guide for Data Authors and Publishers

NOTE: Do not publish unfinished or test resources to demonstrate/test the publishing function. 

Organizing Your Data

Begin with the end in mind. Is the intended audience of your resource your collaborators, the border scientific community, reviewers? Based on the intended use of your resource, you may break your data up into several different resources, or aggregate much of it into one resource. For Example: 

You may have one resource that contains all of the files needed to recreate the figures in a paper, which may then contain a subfolder for each figure.


You may have a resource dedicated to a field sampling campaign. If you wish to group several resources together based on a theme, you may create a collection and add all of the relevant resources to the collection. 

Metadata on published resources

Required metadata for publishing resources:


Minimum 30 characters.

The title of your resource should be descriptive but brief, similar to the title of a journal article. Avoid incorporating esoteric abbreviations and acronyms to increase the discoverability of your resource.


minimum 200 characters. 

The Abstract should describe the contents and purpose of the resource, as well as the way the contents should be used or executed. 

Subject Keywords:

Minimum 3 subject keywords, including geographic location keywords

Subject keywords are vital to the discoverability of your resource. Keywords should be simple words or phrases that help identify the content of your resource. Keywords may include topics covered by the resource contents, project identifiers, geographic locations, observed variables, etc. 

The Lifecycle of Data

Box and arrow circular figure titled "the lifecycle of data". At the top, with arrows pointing to the left in a circle, are the boxes: Discovery and planning, collection, processing, analysis & modeling, maintenance & storage, publication, and sharing. Inside this circle are two more arrows in a continuous loop, iside which are the words "Continuously use metadata to describe data".

Recommended Metadata for a Published Resource

Funding Agency:

Funding agency name, and award number if appropriate. 

Readme File

All variables, abbreviations/acronyms, and non-standard file formats should be defined in the ReadMe file. If folder structure within the resource is complicated, it can be described in the ReadMe file as well. Files can be uploaded as or Readme.txt to be rendered in markdown or plain text under the contents section.

Geographic Coverage

Coverage that describes locations that are related to the dataset in whatever capacity the depositor finds most relevant. 

Coordinating Data and Paper Publication

For resources closely tied to a research publication, we recommend sharing the resource publically when the paper is submitted, if not before. Doing so permits the resource to be cited in the paper, verified and examined by reviewers, and edited based on reviewer comments. When the paper is accepted for publication, the resource can then be permanently published with a citable Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Below are steps to accomplish this. Order may change slightly based on the journal. 

  1. Create the resource in HydroShare, upload content files, and ensure that metadata are complete. 
  2. Make the resource public.
  3. Cite the HydroShare resource in the references section of the paper using the HydroShare URL. This ensures that reviewers can access the resource. 
  4. Submit the paper for review.
  5. Based on reviewer suggestions and paper revisions, make any changes that are necessary to the HydroShare resource. 
  6. When the paper is accepted, in the final text submitted for typesetting, cite the HydroShare resource using its DOI reference. Use the prefix “” followed by the resource’s unique identifier, which is indicated on the resource landing page “How to cite” section. 
  7. When the publisher issues a DOI for the paper, add the full reference for the paper to the related resources metadata on the HydroShare resource. This ensures that the HydroShare resource has a link that points at the final paper. 
  8. Then, finalize and permanently publish the HydroShare resource. 

If you follow this process, you will have a citation to the paper in your HydroShare resource that uses a DOI and a citation to the HydroShare resource in the paper that also uses a DOI.

Note that uploading data to HydroShare is not the same as publishing data. Data in HydroShare must be intentionally published to receive the status of Published and obtain a DOI.