data background

Research Data Management

Data Repositories

Subject-specific repositories
Many disciplines offer public repositories for researchers to deposit their data. Often, data management best practices dictate that researchers use discipline-specific, community-recognized repositories for long-term storage. Prior to selecting a repository, it should be evaluated for cost, sustainability, access, preservation, and other factors set out in your data management plan. Following are a few selected resources to help you get started.

  • Open Access Directory Data Repositories - A list of open data repositories and databases
  • - A global multi-disciplinary directory of research data repositories
    Funded by the German Research Foundation, (REgistry of REsearch Data REpositories) is helpful for finding a repository for your research data or discovering existing data sets relevant to your research. In 2015, records from Databib were merged into
  • DataONE - Deposit scientific research data
    Funded by the National Science Foundation, Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) offers a search interface for discovering many kinds of scientific data. Deposits of scientific research data are accepted through DataONE's member nodes.
  • ICPSR - Deposit social science research data
    Based at the University of Michigan, ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) provides data curation and repository services for social science data and a search interface for discovering and using these data.
  • QDR - Deposit qualitative and multi-method research data
    Based at Syracuse University, QDR (Qualitative Data Repository) provides data curation and repository services for qualitative and multi-method data from the social sciences, health sciences, applied sciences, and humanities. The repository also offers a search interface for discovering and using qualitative data, as well as guidance and resources for managing, reusing, and teaching with qualitative and multi-method data.


General data repositories
If there is not an appropriate disciplinary repository for your data, you may want to consider using a general data repository. Below are some examples of data repositories that accept data from all disciplines. Be sure to read the repository FAQ and “how to deposit data” instructions to ensure that it is an appropriate match for your research data.

For more information about good practices for storing your data, visit KU's research data management site.

Repository Name Format Size Limit Persistent Digital Object Identifier (DOI) Curation Service Accept Restricted Data? Embargo Cost
DataOne Dash Any 2 GB per file
10 GB per dataset
Yes No No
"Data must not violate privacy or copyright, or breach confidentiality or nondisclosure for data collected from human subjects." Source
No Free
Dataverse Multiple formats
SPSS (.por & .sav), STATA, R, Excel (.xlsx), CSV
Varies by data type and Dataverse installation (displayed above file upload in application)
Yes No No
User can set access terms for individual files; this is not a substitute for de-identifying data. Source
Users are able to keep datasets unpublished for share/download via private URL. Source
Dryad Flexible Fees apply for datasets over 20 GB Yes No No
“Dryad does not accept submissions that contain personally identifiable human subject information, since all data is publicly available. Human subject data must be properly anonymized and prepared under applicable legal and ethical guidelines.” Source
Yes, with limits. Source Free
figshare Any 5 GB
5 GB per file
20 GB per private space
Unlimited per funded dataset
Yes No No
No restricted data, but users can create metadata-only records representing sensitive datasets.
Yes. Source Free
Open Science Framework Any Varies
5 GB per file (add-on for larger files)
5 GB total limit per registration across all storage being archived
Yes No No Embargo options Free
openICPSR Any 2 GB Yes Yes
Available with a purchased upgrade to Professional Curation Package
There is a fee for others to use the restricted data
Currently (Dec 2016) depositor can delay access by publishing as restricted dataset though openICPSR is developing a delayed dissemination function that will make embargo more streamlined
Free and Paid options
Free for Self-depositing Package; fee for professional curation based on number of variables and complexity of data
Zenodo Any 2 GB per file
Unlimited file uploads
Yes No Yes
Distribution is the responsibility of the original depositor
Embargo options Free
KU ScholarWorks Flexible 2 GB per file Yes
DOI or handle URL available
No, but guidance is available No Embargo options Free for KU faculty, staff, and students

GIS and Data Contacts

Geographic Information Systems
Rhonda Houser, Senior GIS Analyst
Watson Library

Research data
Jamene Brooks-Kieffer, Data Services Librarian
Watson Library

Digital humanities
Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities
Watson Library

KU Today