Guidance on using ORDA, the online hub for managing and sharing research data at the University.


ORDA is the University of Sheffield’s data repository. It is provided by figshare and enables University research data to be preserved, discovered and accessed.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to deposit their data in ORDA, unless there is a subject-specific repository or data centre which is commonly used in their field.

Wherever your data are stored, you should record and make the details available in ORDA. This promotes reuse and collaboration, helps evidence research impact and maintains a record of the University’s research data. Each record placed in ORDA is provided with a Datacite DOI.

ORDA is ideal for non-sensitive data that can be made publicly available online. While depositors can restrict or embargo data if required, there may be more appropriate long-term storage options for sensitive data on University servers. IT Services should be able to advise you on this.

Data that should be recorded, preserved or shared in ORDA include

  • data underpinning publications
  • data from projects supported by an external funder
  • data from projects not resulting in publications, or not giving the expected result
  • data of potential long-term interest to other researchers
  • details of non-digital or sensitive data that cannot be shared but should be recorded

Here are a few helpful things to remember if you are planning to upload data to ORDA:

  • You can upload many kinds of research data to ORDA, including software, reports and presentation slides.
  • Remember that records and associated files published in ORDA will be publicly available online – try to present files and their content in a logical way that other researchers will understand.
  • Include your ORCID in your ORDA profile – it will help people to find and identify your data.
  • If your data consists of a number of related files, it’s usually best to upload them to a single record rather than separate ones.
  • To provide access to your data from a departmental or other website, make it available in ORDA first and link to the assigned DOI.
  • If you have problems logging in to ORDA, try using a different browser e.g. Chrome (see guidance from figshare).

Use the following guides – and the tips that appear for each field when creating a record – to help you deposit or record your research data in ORDA:

Uploading an item to ORDA (PDF)

Uploading an item to ORDA: useful tips (PDF)

Managing an item in ORDA (PDF)

Note that records in ORDA can only be submitted or updated by current staff and students at the University of Sheffield (access to your ORDA account and unpublished records will end at the same time as your contract). It is therefore important to deposit or record your data in ORDA by the end of your research project; to create or update records related to your project after this you will need to contact us.
Please also note that if your University email address changes, you should contact us if you wish to create or update existing records in ORDA.
For further information, contact rdm@sheffield.ac.uk.