A data paper (or data publication) takes data that has been used for a research study, or deposited in a repository and expands on the "why, when and how" of its collection and processing, leaving an account of the analysis and conclusions to a conventional article, perhaps written at a different time and by different authors.
Another form of data publication is the "enhanced publication", which integrates underlying datasets into an online article so that readers can interact with the data as they read through the article. These data publications are designed to provide more contextual information about the data, so that a researcher can understand it better for their own purposes. Data publications provide an opportunity for researchers using the data publication to offer attribution and credit to data creators, as a data publication can be cited within an academic research paper.
Data may also be linked to publications by creating a link between the academic publications and their underlying associated datasets. The goal is that anyone viewing a publication will be able to locate the datasets associated with that publication and anyone looking at datasets will be able to locate the publications that were produced from that data. The activity of linking data to publications is a necessary step to improve the culture of data sharing amongst the scientific and research community. Linking data to publications also increases the opportunity for transparent research, as researchers will be able to analyze the data created in conjunction with an academic paper.