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Where should I deposit my data at the end of my project?

There are a number of options for choosing where to archive and preserve your data at the end of your project listed below. 

If there is a recognised data centre or data repository for your funder or subject/discipline that your funder specifies, this should be your first port of call for long-term data archiving. Also, be aware of any collaborative agreements you have signed with research partners and whether these contain requirements for data archiving.

If there is no suitable external repository available then you should archive your data in Pure, the University's research system and data repository.

Please ensure that the repository you choose provides a DOI for your data and, if you are not depositing the data directly into Pure, that you record the basic metadata in Pure, together with the DOI, as part of your scholarly record.

There are a growing number of digital repositories, with varying content types (e.g. articles, data sets, images, etc.) and disciplinary foci. Most of these can be found in one of the following registries:

Funder repositories or data centres

A number of funders now specify designated data centres where researchers are required to deposit their funded research data, for example:


Sharing via an appropriate, established repository is expected in research areas where such repositories exist. BBSRC is currently developing a number of such repositories as part of the Bioinformatics and Biological Resources fund.

ESRC ReShare (UK Data Service) Social sciences
NERC NERC Data Centres Environmental sciences
Wellcome Trust List of repositories supported Biomedical research & medical humanities

In some cases data from the respective fields can be stored in the repository listed, even if not required to do so by the funder. More information is available through the links above.

Disciplinary repositories

Other repositories are not funder-specific or have a wider focus (this again may be specified by the funder), for example:

AbbreviationData Centre
ADS Archaeology Data Service
BADC British Atmospheric Data Centre (NERC)
CDS National Chemical Database Service (in partnership with EPSRC)
EBI European Bioinformatics Institute
ENA European Nucleotide Archive (for genomics data)
GEO Gene Expression Omnibus (for genomics data)
NCDR National Cancer Data Repository
NGDC National Geoscience Data Centre
UKSSDC UK Solar System Data Centre


University research system and data repository‌

The University uses Pure as its institutional data repository and catalogue.  Pure will be upgraded in late 2014 to improve the way it handles research data, including the ability to assign a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) to enable your data to be cited with a persistent reference.

If you have archived your data in a funder- or subject-specific repository, you still need to add a record to Pure with a reference (e.g. a DOI) to the archived data and link this to the appropriate funded project/s in Pure.  The University is required by funders, such as RCUK, to maintain a catalogue of archived research data. 

In the current version of Pure, you can add research datasets to Pure by selecting Add New->Research output -> Non-textual form -> Data set/Database.

Finally, adding your research data to Pure ensures that your datasets appears on your research profile.

Other (general) repositories

If your funder hasn't specified a repository/data centre or a disciplinary repository, other repositories are available. The following are examples of repositories for research data, irrespective of discipline:

  • Dryad, a shared dataset archive for data underlying publications, especially in life sciences
  • Figshare
  • Zenodo,  supported by the EU and CERN


Research Data team

University of St Andrews Library
North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9TR
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: (01334) 462343