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NOTE: Do not publish unfinished or test resources to demonstrate/test the publishing function.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

Though HydroShare requires a title, abstract, one keyword, users are encouraged to add as much metadata as possible to resources intended for publication. Not only does adding more metadata increase the quality and reusability of your resource, it increases the ease with which your resource can be found. In HydroShare, discovery is at the resource level, not the file level, so resource level metadata is essential to making your data accessible. 

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

In addition to the required Title, abstract, and keyword, there are metadata elements that contribute to a robust published resource. 

Project Specific Keywords: Keywords and acronyms specific to your project should be added as keywords, as well as keywords that indicate the geographic location, type of data, and methods. Any keywords used for an associated publication would be reasonable keywords for your resource.

Spatial and Temporal Coverage:  If the data or model in the resource has a geospatial “footprint” or location or a temporal component/time window, spatial and temporal coverage metadata will increase discoverability. 

A 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. 

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.