Where to archive your research data

Data archiving or preservation is the process by which data is maintained for use by future researchers. You may be required by your funder to keep research data beyond the end of your project for a specified period, or consider that the data has long-term value. Many research funders will specify how long data should be preserved and where it should be deposited at the end of the project.

Archiving data can also help compliance with legislation such as the Freedom of Information or Data Protection Acts.

  The following options are available for archiving/sharing your data:

  • Heriot-Watt University's institutional data repository, Pure. A DOI can be generated to provide a persistent link to the data. Pure should be used to deposit all data supporting published findings, unless a funder specifies that you should use a specific repository.
  • Deposited in an external data archive or repository like UK Data Service (ESRC), NERC data centres or BBSRC list of data sharing resources.
    You can also check if there is a recommended data repository/archive for your subject or funder using the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data.org).  

    There are general data sharing services, such us Zenodo or FigShare. Zenodo is suggested by the EU as part of the Horizon 2020 open research data pilot if no institutional or disciplinary data repository is available. Please note that some funders may recommend a list of repositories for the data to be uploaded to so it is strongly advised to check your funder requirements first. In general, you cannot guarantee that a free to use third-party repository will store your data long-term. Check the terms and conditions.

If data is held elsewhere, a record must be created in Pure describing the data and linking via a persistent url or doi to the data for a greater impact and visibility.

More information

What is digital curation?

Key information

Open Access