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Research Data Management: Where to Deposit Research Data

Bringing together University resources and services to facilitate researchers in the production of high quality data.

At a Glance

For preservation of research data, data should be submitted to discipline specific, community recognised repository where possible, or to a general, multidisciplinary repositories if no suitable discipline specific repository is available.

Help@UCD: CONUL Where to Submit Data [Information Sheet]

Where to Submit Data [Information Sheet]

Help@UCD: UCD Digital Library


Where to keep research data

This is the primary resource for locating a domain or discipline specific data repository.

Search by specific research discipline and then filter by access categories, data usage licenses, whether the repository gives the data a persistent identifier etc. Re3data uses a series of symbols to indicate these key services.

To be registered in a research data repository must:

  • be run by a legal entity, such as a sustainable institution (e.g. library, university)
  • clarify access conditions to the data and repository as well as the terms of use
  • have a focus on research data

Multidisciplinary Repositories

If there is no disciplinary-specific repository in your area select a general purpose repository. These can handle a variety of different data types. Charges may apply but can be included in a funding application. Key general repositories are listed below. This list is for information purposes only and is not exhaustive.

5 Data sharing and long-term preservation

5b How and where will data be shared? Are there possible restrictions to data sharing or embargo reasons?

Points to consider: 
  • Data should be made “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”. 
  • Explain how the data will be discoverable and shared.
    • Data should be submitted to discipline specific, community recognised repositories where possible, or to a general, multidisciplinary repositories if no suitable discipline specific repository is available. 
    • Explicitly name a data repository or archive when one has been chosen.
    • It is recommended to demonstrate that the repositories policies and procedures (including any metadata standards, and costs involved) have been checked.
    • Persistent identifiers should be applied so that data can be reliably and efficiently located and referred to. Persistent identifiers also help to track citations and re-use. Typically, a trustworthy, long-term repository will provide a persistent identifier.
  • If data can’t be made available this must be justified, for example 
    • Data are commercially sensitive
    • Data are confidential (in connection with security issues)
    • Sharing would break data protection regulations (though data which have been properly anonymised can be shared without breaching data protection regulations)
    • Sharing would mean that the project's main aim might not be achieved
    • The project will not generate / collect any research data.
    • If data can’t be made available, metadata and documentation describing the data and research process should still be made available, in compliance with the FAIR Data principles.
    • Indicate who will be able to use the data. If it is necessary to restrict access to certain communities. For example you may be able to deposit your data with a restricted access data archive, meaning that the data are not completely open or to apply a data sharing agreement.

5c What methods or software tools are needed to access and use data?

Points to consider: 
  • Indicate whether potential users need specific tools to access and  (re-)use the data. Consider the sustainability of software needed for accessing the data and the availability of those tools in different settings, e.g. outside of HIgher Education Institutions.

Advantages of a Data Repository or Archive

​A Data Repository allows researchers to upload and publish their data, thereby making the data available for other researchers to re-use.

Similarly, a Data Archive allows users to deposit and publish data but will generally offer greater levels of curation to community standards, have specific guidelines on what data can be deposited and is more likely to offer longterm preservation as a service. Sometimes the terms data repositories and data archives are used interchangeably.

Types of Data Repositories or Archives include:

  • Institutional data repositories
  • General purpose or multidisciplinary repositories
  • Domain or discipline specific data repositories

UCD does not have an institutional repository for research data, however we do have two domain or discipline specific repositories: UCD Digital Library and the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA).


A Data Repository or Archive will provide services such as:

  • Persistent identifier such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
  • Assistance with metadata provision e.g. through the use of a template
  • Allow you to apply a licence to your data
  • Aid compliance with ‘FAIR’ data principles
  • Accept a wide range of data types
  • Long-term access and, in some cases, long-term preservation
  • Offer useful search, navigation and visualisation functionality
  • Reach a wider audience of potential users
  • Manage requests for data on your behalf

When to Select a Data Repository

Choose early so that you can familiarise yourself with the repository’s requirements

Requirements may include:

  • Depositing in certain file formats
  • Using a specific metadata standard
  • Depositing documentation to help describe your data

Understanding such requirements will enable you to design your data collection materials for easier metadata and documentation creation.

How to Select a Data Repository

In general, data should be submitted to domain or discipline specific, community recognised repository where possible, or to a general purpose or multidisciplinary repository if no suitable discipline specific repository is available.

The following questions may help you to identify a suitable Data Repository or Archive:

  • ​Has a data repository been specified by my funder?
  • Has a data repository been specified by my publisher?
  • Is there a disciplinary-specific community recognised data repository I can submit my data to, thereby helping to preserve my data according to recognised standards in my discipline?
  • Is it reputable? Is it listed in Re3data thereby meeting their conditions of inclusion?
  • Does it provide a persistent identifier, for example a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)?

Additional practical considerations include:

  • Will it take the data you want to deposit?
  • Is there a size limit?
  • Does it provide guidance on how the data should be cited?
  • Does it provide access control, where necessary, for your research data?
  • Does it ensure long-term preservation/ curation?
  • Does it provide expert help with e.g. metadata provision, curation?
  • Is there a cost associated with deposing data?