UCL has created a new institutional Research Data Repository, supplied by Figshare. The repository enables UCL researchers to preserve research data of value long-term and make it available to others.
- Secure long term data preservation: for 10 years if required
- Access and data sharing anywhere in the world: cloud-based storage
- Compliance: meets research funders' requirements for FAIR data preservation and sharing
- Multiple formats: supports most file types: audio, video, images, spreadsheets, documents, surveys, datasets and posters.
- Team collaboration: data can be shared in team projects (collections)
- Increased citations: published research data receives its own Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
- Discoverability: allows researchers to find you and leads to new partnerships
- Reuse: applies Creative Commons or other appropriate licenses to define terms of access and re-use
- Embargo: research outputs can be embargoed where necessary
- Educational resources: offers great resources for education and training
For more information, and to access the Repository, please see below.
Prepare your upload to the Repository: 10 step easy guide
- Identify and name your research dataset (any format, max. 5GB per file or zipped folder. See "Other Cases" below for large or nested file deposits).
- Check you have permission to publish the data
- Check you have the correct names or ORCIDs of ALL authors/collaborators
- Decide which categories and keywords best describe your data
- Prepare a clear summary description (metadata) for your dataset
- Find out the funder name and grant name/number
- Know which copyright licence you are going to use and if your data needs to be restricted for non-commercial use
- Have ready any references of publications/other data connected with your data (links, DOIs) and/or links to your data in other repositories
- Ensure that any personal data/special category personal data is anonymised or pseudonymised
- For deposits from GitHub and other code repositories, prepare a basic description and metadata for your code.
What to deposit
Select your data
The decision over what to keep and share should be informed by a number of considerations: your funder’s data policy; UCL’s Research Data policy; legal and ethical requirements; and the potential usefulness of the data to others.
It might be tempting to keep and share all your data 'just in case'. You should try and make decisions on what to keep and share based on the likely potential value for others weighed against the time and costs of documenting, preparing and preserving this data for the long-term.
- Data you should deposit in the Repository
- Data you must NOT deposit in the repository
Please do not deposit the following categories:
- Data for which you (or UCL) do not hold the copyright or other intellectual property rights, and/or for which you have not obtained permission to share the data.
- Data containing personal information. You cannot upload personal data or special category personal data in this repository.
- There are data sharing agreements in place that restrict access to the data to particular individuals or groups (this may be the case where there are commercial agreements in place with industrial partners, for instance).
The UCL Research Data Repository is not intended for administrative data relating to human resources, finance and other operational matters. For support in managing this data see the UCL Records Office’s advice.
- Other cases
1. You are already using a discipline-specific or funder-specific repository
If there is a discipline, subject, or funder-specific repository available to you then you should normally submit your data to that. You should however consider whether the repository has a clear sustainability model and meets your funder's requirements.
If you submit data to a non-UCL repository you should also create a metadata-only record for that data in the UCL repository, with a reference to where the actual data can be found. This ensures that all of your research outputs are recorded and can be referenced, for instance, in REF submissions. We hope to harvest records from other popular repositories automatically in the future.
2. You are not using new/original data
Your research may be based entirely on existing data (i.e. neither new nor original) and you haven’t made significant changes or enhancements to that data. In that case, you should reference the data in your publications but don’t need to submit the data to the UCL Research Data Repository.
3. You want to deposit code
If it is practical to recreate data entirely from code without an undue amount of work then it is acceptable to share the code instead of the outputted data from the code.
Research software and code play an increasingly important role in research across all disciplines. It is often beneficial to share code and software alongside your data. You can find guidance for sharing and preserving code.
4. You have very large (more than 5 GB) files/zipped folders or multiple files/folder directories
If you need to upload a dataset that is greater than 5 GB in size, please use the Figshare Desktop Uploader tool.
The only way to upload folder directories (a folder containing subfolder) as a single item in Figshare is to zip the folder. The folder structure (with folder names) will be displayed in the published item.
To upload multiple files we suggest that you zip the files in to a folder to save uploading each file individually.
5. Commercial use of research data
If you have data which you believe has strong potential for commercial exploitation, please contact UCL Business.
How to deposit
Prepare your data
Our Research Data Management how-to guides will help you prepare your data before your deposit it; the guides include information to organise your data, name your files, choose your file formats, anonymise personal data, and more.
- Step-by-step instructions
- Review process once you have deposited your data
After you have finished uploading your data a Repository administrator from UCL will check your upload for accuracy and completeness of metadata. They may provide suggestions for additions or improvements to your metadata via email. The Repository administrators endeavor to review uploads within a week.
Researchers are responsible for the data they upload so they should ensure that it doesn’t contain any of the following:
- personal data (i.e. information relating to an identified or identifiable person), or
- special category personal data (i.e information relating to racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data, health, or a natural person's sex life or sexual orientation).
Guidance on uploads is available above which helps you decide what to share. You can also contact email@example.com for advice.
Once your upload has been approved it will be made publicly available via the Repository unless an embargo has been applied.
- Using a discipline or funder-specific repository
1. Funder-recommended repositories
Your funder may have some expectations about where your data is stored, how open it should be and the timescale in which it should be made available. Please refer to the guidance information on funders' policies.
Some funders such as NERC or ESRC have set up data centres to preserve and disseminate data created as part of their funded projects. Researchers funded by these bodies are expected to deposit in their data centres.
2. Subject-specific repositories
If a repository exists specifically for your research domain, usually this will be the better option for you as it is likely to have additional features that support your types of data, and it will mean your data is more visible to the relevant research community.
We have prepared a guide where you will find discipline-specific repositories.
3. Other responsible repositories
It is also possible to deposit your data with a "responsible digital repository", i.e. that "takes responsibility for data assets according to the FAIR data principles: findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable" and provides you with "adequate and persistent information" (i.e. metadata and a DOI) for your data.
A list of external repositories and their characteristics can be found in the international registry Re3data.org.
Creating a metadata-only record
If you choose to deposit your research data in a non-UCL repository please indicate that deposit in the UCL Research Data Repository by creating a metadata-only record.
What to do with personal research data
Storing personal data
Our how-to guide on data storage explains the options available at UCL to store personal data, including information about UCL Data Safe Haven.
Managing personal data
In our how-to-guide you will find information about ethical approval and registration; anonymisation; protection for NHS data; your legal requirements and discipline-specific ethics codes.
Understanding Data Protection legislation (including GDPR)
UCL Data Protection Office offers key advice and guidance for researchers to protect their personal research data.
Repository FAQs & further help
Please read our Repository FAQs page.
For further help with the Research Data Repository please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For help with other data management issues, including funders’ policies and Data Management Plans please email email@example.com.
How to find and use data deposited in the Repository
To find and re-use data deposited by UCL researchers you can perform basic and advanced searches. Guidance is available to search the Repository.
Research data deposited in the UCL Research Data Repository should be used in accordance with the licence chosen by the depositors. Guidance is available to understand these licences.
Our how-to guide on data re-use will help you understand how to cite research data; how to handle copyright and Intellectual Property rights issues; and how to analyse data.
If you believe you have a legitimate reason to request the removal of an item in UCL Research Data Repository (relating, for instance, to issues with intellectual property, copyright, data protection or other legal issues), please read our Takedown Notice.
Please read the Repository Privacy Notice.
Terms & Conditions
Please read the Terms & Conditions.