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Library Research Support: Open Research: Publishing research data

This guide is intended to provide advice and support on open access research, including guidance around Durham Research Online (DRO), open access publishing, research data management and related topics.

1. Prepare and organise

  • Put all the files which support your findings in one folder
  • Prefer open file formats to commercial formats
  • Use descriptive file names
  • Use a logical file and folder structure
  • Include a README file.  (Template created by Cornell University.)
  • Include processing scripts (if any) or a link to your scripts in a public code repository
  • Finally, compress the folder into one file (e.g., ZIP format)

2. Choose a repository

There are three types of repository:

Provided you find a suitable repository, this is the best choice because others might find your research data by browsing.   Try finding a subject-specific repository.

Well established and widely used.

Available for all staff and students at no charge.  Personalised support.

3. Deposit data

Each repository has its own deposit procedure.  At Durham, the procedure is:

  • Follow Step 1 to prepare your files
  • Log in to the research data repository
  • Click 'Share your work'
  • Upload one compressed file
  • Enter as much detail as possible in the deposit record including:
    • paper abstract
    • funder
    • research methods
    • subject keywords and phrases
    • geolocation information (if relevant)
  • When finished, select Permissions tab and click 'Open access pending'

A member of the Research Support Team will review your deposit and get in touch.  After approval, you will get a DOI for your research data.  Current Durham RDM policy is to keep all research data in the repository indefinitely.

N.B.: You can deposit a compressed file 10 Gb in size through the respository web application.  Larger deposits must be done by a member of the Research Support Team.  We recommend dividing a large dataset into smaller pieces.  For example, see this collection of three datasets; the sizes of these datasets are: 7.2 Gb + 28.5 Gb  + 38.5 Gb = 74.2 Gb.  Our largest dataset collection comprises 60 files (55 datasets and 5 checksums) and requires 640 Gb of storage.

4. Cite data

Cite your own data in your research paper.  The bibliographic format, recommended by DataCite is:

Creator (PublicationYear):  Title.  Version.  Publisher.​  (resourceTypeGeneral).  Persistent identifer​

Example 1:

Breckon, T ; Tiancheng, G (2018): Pretrained neural network models for Guo 2018 study, TensorFlow format.  Durham University.  (dataset).  DOI:

Example 2:

Dabrowski, K (2018):  Computing small pivot-minors.  Durham University.  (software).  DOI:


N.B. Best practice is to express your DOI as a fully, resolvable hyperlink.  That is, express it as instead of abbreviating it to 10.15128/r1t722h881p.  The former resolves, the latter does not.