How to share research data

Sharing digital data within the project team

Your Faculty IT Manager can help you to identify and set up technical solutions to support sharing research data with other researchers inside or outside of the University of Sydney. These solutions may include collaborative research environments and data transfer tools.

Sharing digital research data when a project is finished

If you have research data that is no longer being worked on, you can disseminate that data by depositing it in a repository or archive and maximise the impact of your research.

There are various ways to share research data including:

  • depositing data in an institutional repository
  • depositing data with a specialist data centre or archive
  • submitting data to a journal to support a publication
  • making data available online via a project or institutional website

Depositing in an institutional repository

The University of Sydney’s Sydney eScholarship Repository is an institutional repository that is not discipline-specific. The service is run by the University of Sydney Library and focuses on providing open access to research outputs in digital formats.

The Sydney eScholarship Repository also contains research data. Examples include:

Please see the following information:


To discuss your requirements please contact your Faculty Liaison Librarian
or call the Sydney eScholarship Repository staff
Phone: (02) 93517407

Specialist data centre or archive

Depositing data in a repository or archive is one way of ensuring your data can be accessed and cited in the long term, and may be a requirement for funding or publishing your research. Most repositories or archives are specific to a particular discipline.

The advantages of depositing data with a specialist data centre include:

  • long-term preservation of data in standardised accessible data formats
  • safe-keeping of data in a secure environment with the ability to control access where required
  • regular data back-ups
  • licensing arrangements to acknowledge data rights
  • standardised citation mechanism to acknowledge data ownership
  • promotion of data to many users
  • monitoring of the secondary usage of data
  • management of access to data and user queries on behalf of the data owner

Examples of Australian repositories and archives

Examples of international repositories and archives

Data directories

  • Databib
    Databib is a collaborative, annotated bibliography of primary research data repositories developed with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (US)
  • The Open Access Directory (OAD)
    The OAD is a compendium of simple factual lists about open access (OA) to science and scholarship, maintained by the international OA community. The OAD includes lists of OA data directories and repositories

Submit to a journal in support of a publication

Journals increasingly require data that form the basis for publications to be shared or deposited within an accessible database or repository.

Nature journals have a policy that requires authors to make data and materials available to readers, as a condition of publication, preferably via public repositories. Appropriate discipline-specific repositories are suggested.

Some research disciplines have well established data sharing practices. For example, researchers working on small molecule crystal structures, should submit the data and materials to the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD), as a Crystallographic Information File, a standard file structure for the archiving and distribution of crystallographic information.

Making data available via a project website

Some research projects make data-sharing part of their business-as-usual and contribute project resources to hosting and managing data for sharing and re-use online. These data sharing activities are made possible by the research groups' commitment to robust data management practices through developing, implementing and maintaining data management systems.

Case study: EarthByte

The University of Sydney's EarthByte Group is one of the world’s leading research groups for global and regional plate tectonic reconstructions and for studying the interplay between the deep earth and surface processes. The EarthByte Group leads the development of open-source plate reconstruction software, GPlates.

A range of grid datasets are made available via the project’s website following publication of the results in an academic journal. Further datasets are available via an FTP server to researchers who seek permission from Earthbyte.