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Data Management and Publication: Research Data Repositories

A guide to managing and publishing research data sets

Selecting a Research Data Repository

Selecting the best repository to house a dataset may be straightforward, if there is already a well-established subject based repository in your discipline, or it may take some research to determine the best place for your data.  Look for a research data repository with open licenses, to make your datasets more accessible (CC-0 is the least restrictive license). The repository should provide clear, persistent citations for datasets.  Repositories offer a range of services to depositors (from data validation to peer review) and to users (from in-browser data exploration to visualization and analysis tools), which may also influence your choice.  The Scholarly Communications Team is happy to assist you as you select an appropriate data repository.

Finding Research Data Repositories

There are several useful tools for finding data repositories that serve your field.

  • The list of Open Access Data Repositories from Simmons College is grouped by discipline.
  • The Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data) is a searchable listing of data repositories worldwide.  Use it to identify data repositories serving your discipline and their policies regarding open access and data citations.


If you would like to publish a dataset but cannot find an appropriate subject-based repository, you may want to consider using Figshare, "a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner."  The research outputs you can upload to Figshare include datasets, figures, papers, posters, and video.  When you publish research materials on Figshare, they receive a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), providing a persistent citation.  Figshare also supports version control, so that you can update or add to a dataset without confusing other researchers who may wish to cite it.