1. Find the right repository for your data. See our webpage for help with choosing a repository.
  2. Check you have permission to share your data. Data that is derived from secondary sources or collected in collaboration with partners might have multiple rights owners.
  3. Make sure your data doesn't contain any personal data or other sensitive/ confidential information not suitable for public disclosure. Check our guidance on sharing sensitive research data.
  4. Use open or widely used file formats where possible. If the data were created using proprietary software, consider uploading copies in both the original file format and an open format. For example, data created using the statistical analysis software platform SPSS can be exported in both the proprietary .sav format and open .csv format. Keep in mind that important information may be lost when converting to another file format.
  5. Give the dataset a meaningful title. We recommend using the format ‘Data for (paper/project title)’.
  6. Use the description/abstract field to provide a brief description of the project associated with the dataset and the purpose for which the data was created. Add any other information you think might help others to understand and reuse your data.
  7. If the dataset includes tabular data files, provide definitions and explanations of column headings and row values and any other abbreviations or codes used. This can be included as part of the description or as a separate file e.g. a codebook, data dictionary or simple README.txt file. You can check out the Cornell University README template for example.
  8. Consider uploading additional supporting documentation to make it easier for others to understand and reuse the data e.g. a lab notebook, research protocol, consent form template or survey/questionnaire tools.
  9. Choose an open license for your data. We recommend either CC0 or CC-BY. More information is available on our licensing your data webpage.
  10. Add links to outputs associated with the data e.g. DOI for a related publication, URL for a project website, links to code/software generated during the project. Check out our guidance for archiving/ publishing research software.
  11. If your chosen repository assigns a DOI or other persistent identifier to datasets, include the DOI for your dataset in the data access statement of your published paper(s). See our examples of data access statements.

Contact rdm-enquiries@imperial.ac.uk for additional help.