Data repositories and archives

Once your research is finished, you'll need to archive your data where they can be discovered and reused and where they are available to back-up your findings. Choose a data repository that will protect your data and make it discoverable.

A data repository is a specialist facility set up to:

  • preserve, manage and provide access to research data
  • curate data to enable search, discovery and reuse
  • provide enough control for the data to be authoritative, reliable, accessible and usable on a continuing basis

To meet this definition, data repositories must be trustworthy and offer facilities and governance that meet specific standards, for example ISO 27001, Core Trust Seal or TRAC.

Choose the right repository

Re3Data can help you find data repositories that meet a minimum standard and can be termed trustworthy. Repositories listed here will enable your data to meet the FAIR principles.

Your project could use a combination of repositories depending on the data type and its intended use. All should be capable of being linked and providing links back to the project and associated publications through robust metadata and Digital Object Identifiers.

Repositories fall into four main categories:

Funder repositories

They include those supported by UKRI funding bodies like UK Data Service provided by ESRC for social science data.

Some of these repositories will accept any data that meets their criteria; others only data associated with projects they have funded and they may be compulsory for those projects. All provide extensive guidance related to archiving and sharing research data.

Publisher repositories

They are usually set up to provide archive space and access only to data supporting articles that they have published, for example Mendeley data.

Some publishers don't provide their own services but recommend specific data repositories they consider trustworthy. This is a useful way to find a repository for your data.

Disciplinary/single subject repositories

They may have been established by a group of academics or institutions or by government agencies. There are many listed in Re3data and they are usually equipped with specialist software and hardware to deal with specialist types of data.

Institutional repositories

An institutional repository is managed by a university or other research centres to provide a secure archive for data created by researchers affiliated to them. Most, like the Kent Data Repository, serve as catalogues for data created there but archived elsewhere.

Get support

Get help and support with research data management by emailing the Research and Scholarly Communication Support Team.

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