Reusing data

The mission of DANS is to enhance the reusability of data.

This webpage provides you with relevant information about reusing data and how you can find, access and use datasets deposited in the DANS Data Stations.

Data Discovery

Finding the right dataset for your purpose can be challenging. You need to know what you want to search for and what kinds of data are available to you. Originally developed  for the social sciences domain but more widely applicable, the CESSDA Data Management Expert Guide features a chapter on Data Discovery that provides extensive guidance and practical tips for data discovery.

To find data in our DANS Data Stations, there are various features available to you: 

  • The general search interface allows you to search full text, both in the metadata and in the data files (insofar as they are open for re-use, see below).
  • The advanced search options where you can search for terms in any specific metadata field.
  • The facets on the side of the Data Station which enable you to narrow down your search for instance to a specific period of time, a given organisation, or field of research. Our Data Stations also contain a facet with our collections: sets of datasets that belong together, for instance for being part of the same oral history project.  

For many file types, our Data Stations provide a viewer which lets you have a look at the data directly: you can read text documents, consult tabular data, and play audio/video files within the Data Station. 

Accessing Data

If you have discovered a dataset in one of our Data Stations that is relevant for your research question, you can easily find out how the files of a dataset can be accessed. 

 The files in a dataset fall under either of the following two access categories: Open Access or Restricted Access.

  1. Open Access: The files are directly accessible and do not require logging in or requesting access.
  2. Restricted Access: The files with ‘Restricted Access’ can be divided in two categories.
    1. Files which allow for an ‘Access Request’: The files are accessible after a) logging in and submitting an ‘Access Request’ and b) after the ‘Access Request’ has been approved by the depositor of the dataset.
    2. Files which do not allow for an ‘Access Request’:  These files are never accessible.

Please be aware that it is the depositor of a dataset who is responsible for processing an ‘Access Request’, not the repository. It may take some time for the depositor to respond to such a request. It is convenient to include some processing time for ‘Access Requests’ in your research plan, if you are going to re-use existing datasets.

Before you can log in and request datasets, you must create an account on the Data Station.


Using a dataset
The terms and conditions for using a dataset depend on the depositor’s choice:

  1. Open Access: use is subject to the Open Access licence identified in the tab ‘Terms’. Various licences are possible, for example the licences from Creative Commons. Read more about the licences DANS offers here.
  2. For datasets with Restricted Access most of the time the DANS licence is used.


Citing a dataset
We ask you to cite datasets you download and use in accordance with the  Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles. To make dataset citation easier we advise to copy and paste the citation from the citation block at the top of the dataset page. It is also possible to download the citation directly in Endnote, RIS or BibText format. This source reference will consist of:

  • The name(s) and/or organisation of the creator(s) of the dataset;
  • The year in which the dataset was published;
  • The title of the dataset;
  • The persistent identifier (DOI) of the dataset as a full URL;
  • The name of the repository in which the dataset is stored: the DANS Data Station;
  • If applicable, the version number of the dataset.

For example:
P.K. Doorn; L.S. Bommeljé; J.A.C. Vroom; H. van Wijngaarden; Y.B. Bommeljé, 1990, “The Aetolian Studies Project”,, DANS Data Station Archaeology, V2


Inaccuracies in a dataset?
If you come across inaccuracies in a dataset, please let us know. DANS will pass the information on to the depositor. Do not forget to include the dataset’s persistent identifier.


If you have any questions, please contact us.


© DANS. R.1.4. Version 1.2, September 27, 2023