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data.ncl Reviewing Guidelines

Research Data Service team review and provide feedback on submitted items before they become public. For each item, the same following procedure is followed. 

Check the uploaded Item 

  • Check if the item appears to contain human data. Request the submitter complete a GDPR form to provide further information.
  • Does the item include a README file
  • Does the README file include a DOI to the item
  • If the record links to data held elsewhere, check the metadata matches to the data repository

Check metadata of each Item

The purpose of filling out the metadata form is to support discovery and to maximise the reusability of the item. Each item should stand-alone and include or have a link to all required information.

Give feedback to the submitter

After the reviewer has checked the item and its metadata, they will be given three options.

  • Approve and publish
  • Decline and return
  • Comment

Approve and publish

See “Publish” below.

Decline and return

This option is relevant when the item, in its current state, is unsuitable for publication on the repository. The submitter will be notified of this by email. The reviewer should include a comment specifying why the item is declined and returned. 


This option is relevant when there are more substantial ‘errors’ in the item/metadata that needs to be edited by the submitter. Tick the Notify owner by email box and the comment will be sent to the submitter of the item by email. The submitter can then reply to this email. This way, the comments can be discussed in order to make adjustments required before approval.


The option Approve and publish is relevant when the item can be published as it is or when you only detect small ‘errors’ in the metadata that can be edited directly by the reviewer without consulting the submitter. If there is mandatory metadata missing or if you simply want to change some of the metadata, please use the Save button from the Edit item tab before approving. If you do not save the changes, you will approve the previous version.

When the reviewer is happy with both the item and its metadata the reviewer should choose the option Approve and publish. The submitter will be notified of this by email.

When publishing items in a project, remind the submitter to make the project public. This is only possible when at least one of the items in the project has been published.