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.

Kent Data Repository (KDR)

KDR is the University's institutional data repository. It's there for researchers if a specialist archive is not available. If you chose to deposit your data in another repository, KDR can hold a record and link to the data for internal record keeping and external reporting.

What you can add to KDR

The repository accepts all types of research data, defined as “any recorded information that supports or validates research observations, findings or outputs.”

Document formats

KDR can store data in a wide variety of formats, but some formats are better than others for long-term preservation of data.

For research outputs not in a digitally preservable form (such as a performance, exhibition, building or sculpture), you should:

Data from your thesis or dissertation

Once you've submitted your thesis, you are welcome to upload your data to the repository if you wish and your funder does not provide their own repository.

Uploading your data

How to upload, edit and manage your data in KDR

When you upload your data: you must:

  • agree to the conditions of use and a deposit agreement
  • include a README file with adequate documentation to enable others to reuse it accurately.

After you upload your data: we'll check your records for completeness and make sure they have a 'Read Me' file before adding them to the repository.

Once in the repository, the data will be sent to Arkivum for long-term storage.


When you deposit a file, you declare that it can be lawfully published to the Kent Data Repository and does not, to the best of your knowledge, infringe the copyright or other intellectual property rights of any other person or party. See the University's copyright policy and guidelines.


Need help with research data management? Email

Find out all the ways you can get in touch:

Research support links

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