Finding a research data repository
Where to archive your research data
Most major funders and an increasing number of journal publishers now expect data that underpin published findings or have potential value in future research to be made publicly available with as few restrictions as possible. The best way to ensure the long-term preservation, access and reuse of data is to deposit with a trusted data repository. The College’s research data management policy also requires that Principal Investigators deposit data needed to validate published results with a public repository.
The advantages of depositing your data with a repository include:
- You don’t have to worry about preserving the data yourself
- A permanent public record will be created to enhance the discoverability of your data
- Your data will be assigned a persistent identifier (e.g. DOI) making it easier for you and others to cite your data in publications
- Compliance with funder, journal and/or institutional data policies
Where possible, we recommend depositing your data with a discipline-specific data repository. They have subject specialist expertise and the resources to manage specific types of data.
Examples of discipline-specific data repositories:
- GenBank (genetic sequences)
- Protein Data Bank (protein structures)
- Pangea (earth and environmental science)
- HEPData (high-energy physics data)
You can also search for a repository by subject using the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data.org).
Your funder may also support or recommend a particular repository:
- The ESRC funds the UK Data Service
- The NERC hosts a network of environmental data centres
- Wellcome maintains a list of approved data repositories
- The BBSRC includes links to domain-specific databases among its list of data sharing and data resources
Some publishers have also published lists of recommended data repositories:
If no discipline-specific repository or community resource is available, we recommend depositing with a general-purpose data repository.
Examples of general-purpose data repositories:
Zenodo and Figshare both allow registered users to deposit data free of charge. Dryad charges a data publication fee, but some publishers have an agreement with Dryad to sponsor authors’ data publication charges. A list of journals with agreements to sponsor data publication charges is maintained on the Dryad website.
Restricted access repositories
Not all data be made publicly available. Appropriate safeguards need to be in place before data that contain sensitive or confidential information can be shared. Some repositories provide a facility to control access to sensitive data. Here is a list of repositories that provide restricted access options. You can also search re3data.org using the “restricted access” filter.
Visit our web page ‘Sharing Sensitive Data’ for additional guidance on how to share sensitive data.
Who can I contact for additional support?
Email the Research Data Management team or book a one to one consultation with a member of the Research Data Management team if you would like additional help with choosing a suitable data repository.
For guidance on archiving and sharing research software visit our web page Making research software open and shareable.