Deposit your data

Ready to deposit your data?

The University of Oxford Research Data Management Policy asks researchers to deposit a copy of their data in a suitable archive or repository. This is one of the best ways to preserve research data for the long term.

Things to check before depositing your data

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Archives are designed for the long-term preservation of data which is in its finished form, rather than for live datasets which are still being worked on. You might choose to deposit data if:

  • Your project has concluded, and you are not expecting to do further work on the data
  • You wish to preserve a stable, citable snapshot of data from a very long term project, such as a longitudinal research study
  • You wish to make a specific subset of your data available to other researchers, such as the data underpinning the conclusions of a particular research publication

It's worth taking some time to prepare your data for archiving, to ensure it remains usable long into the future, and to aid proper interpretation. This might include:

  • Selecting appropriate file formats
  • Organising the data to make it easily intelligible
  • Ensuring the data is accompanied by all necessary documentation
  • Anonymising or otherwise redacting the data to remove any material that shouldn't be included in the archived copy

You can read more about these topics in the Planning for preservation section.

If you don't control all the rights to your dataset (because, for example, you've incorporated third party material), you'll need to ensure any intellectual property issues have been resolved.

If your dataset includes personal, confidential, or otherwise sensitive information, you'll need to ensure that this is treated appropriately. This might involve:

  • Anonymising or otherwise redacting the dataset before making it available for reuse
  • Selecting an archive which can offer suitable access restrictions
  • Ensuring data is accompanied by any necessary supplementary material, such as evidence of consent from research participants

You can read more about these topics in the Ethical and legal issues and Restricting access to data sections.

Selecting an archive

A wide range of data archives exist. These include subject-specific archives, general archives, and Oxford's own institutional archive for research outputs, including data, ORA.

If you deposit data in an archive other than ORA, please also create an ORA metadata record pointing to the deposit. This is done via the same process as depositing in ORA, but instead of uploading files, you can add a link to the dataset's location.