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Library Research Support: Open Research: Publish research data in the University's data repository

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.


This guide will help you deposit and publish your research data in the University's research data repository.  You have two options:

  1. Publish one item that comprises all your supporting research data and documentation.  You will get one DOI.
  2. Create a collection of items.  Each item can have a separate DOI (if required).

Publish one item

Data preparation

Put all of the following into one folder / directory:

  • raw data files
  • processed data files
  • data processing scripts
  • documentation to describe every stage of data processing
  • README file (template)

Compress the folder into one file.  The compressed file then becomes your single item to deposit in the repository.  If your file is larger than 10 GB, please ask the Research Support Team for advice on how to proceed.

Deposit your file

  • Browse to the data repository.
  • Log in using your CIS username.
  • Share or upload your data.
  • Select your single file to deposit.
  • Start the upload.
  • Add descriptive information to your deposit record.
  • Save your record

The default visibility of the record will be PRIVATE, which means visible to you only.

Edit your record and add as much descriptive information as possible:

  • Abstract of your paper
  • Names of all authors
  • Name of funder
  • Subject keywords and phrases

At this stage of the process, you have reserved a DOI for your data but it will not work yet.

Request review of data deposit

Change the visibility permissions of your record to OPEN ACCESS PENDING.  This will trigger a request to review your deposit.  After approval your data and DOI will be published.  The process may take a day or two.  Please contact the Research Support Team if necessary.

Note:  This is the most common way to publish research data.  Occasionally it is sufficient to publish one data file only: an Excel spreadsheet, a CSV file or a PDF file.  This is acceptable provided there is sufficient documentation within the data file.

Create a collection of items

Create a top-level record

  • Log in to the data repository using your CIS username
  • Create a new collection
  • Add as much descriptive information as possible

Create item-level records

  • Follow the steps in the guidance on publishing one item
  • Do this for each item
  • Add each item to your collection

Typical example of a collection

This is a typical collection: Global Class Rasters of Rivers and Lakes

The collection comprises five items:

  • Three datasets of images in TIFF format
  • Python processing scripts
  • README documentation

A DOI cannot resolve to a collection directly for data integrity reasons.  So, the DOI resolves to the README documentation, which includes two links to the top-level collection record.

Less typical example of a collection

This is currently our largest collection:
DurLAR: A High-Fidelity 128-Channel LiDAR Dataset with Panoramic Ambient and Reflectivity Imagery for Multi-Modal Autonomous Driving Applications [dataset]

The collection comprises sixty compressed items:

  • Five datasets split into 12 pieces each
  • Approximately 292,000 images in total in PNG format
  • Total volume: 640 GB

Important note:  Datasets larger than 20 GB will need to be shared via PRS with the Research Support Team.  Then we will deposit the dataset for you.  Please contact the Team for assistance.