This paper reports preliminary results of an on-going study of data papers, a fairly recently introduced type of journal paper designed for documenting and instigating the publishing of research data sets. The aim of the paper is to provide new knowledge on how research processes and practices are described in a set of archaeological data papers selected for analysis. The findings point to a diversity of strategies of how research processes are documented. Explaining factors include the type of data and research where the dataset is stemming from, cross-disciplinary influences from fields outside of archaeology, and the original purpose of data collection and whether it appears that the data was collected for sharing and publishing. The findings point to several possibilities to develop author guidelines for data papers and insights into why and what some types of datasets appear as easier to document than others.