Research data repositories

Research data repositories provide the best option for storing and publishing research data in the long term.



Research data repositories provide the best option for storing and publishing research data in the long term.

Specific repositories may be recommended by funders or publishers, while some funders operate data centres for the research they fund.

Most repositories have embargo arrangements to control data access if required, with similar arrangements for access to sensitive data. A searchable directory of research data repositories can be found at re3Data.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to deposit their data in the University of Sheffield repository ORDA, or in a subject-specific repository or data centre. Staff should register details of their data in ORDA even if the data are stored or published elsewhere

Find help to choose a repository in the sections below and in the Digital Curation Centre guide on where to keep research data.

Choosing a repository 

ORDA is a good option for most University of Sheffield anonymised research data, unless there is a subject-specific repository or data centre commonly used in your field. The table below provides guidance for choosing a suitable repository for your data.

Repository Data supported Examples Benefits

Software under development (eg software tools, libraries, scripts, packages, interactive notebooks). 

It is good software engineering practice to use a version controlled repository for development.

Software releases (eg code associated with a specific publication or data set) should also be placed on a platform that supports long term storage, eg ORDA.



Collaborative tools to facilitate good practice and sustainability.

These do not guarantee long term storage or define metadata.

Subject-specific Highly specialised; specific technical requirements.

GenBank (Gene data)

UK Data Archive (ESRC-funded)

Environmental Data Service (NERC)

Archaeology Data Service
Dryad (Biosciences; also general)

Located with similar material; specialist metadata.
Specialising in sensitive data Particularly suitable for sensitive data.

UK Data Archive


Specialised access control.
ORDA Most research data; analysed data; supplementary material; visualisations. ORDA Connects data with institution, project and authors; opportunity to expand upon raw data.

Funder recommendations

While most funders require data to be preserved in an established data repository, some give specific

  • AHRC (ADS for archaeology)
  • BBSRC (Various discipline-specific repositories)
  • ESRC (UK Data Service)
  • MRC (UK Data Service)
  • NERC (NERC-funded data centres)

Publisher recommendations

Some publishers offer guidance to authors on data sharing, with some suggesting specific repositories:

DOI allocation

The University Library has a contract with the DataCite consortium, through the British Library, to enable us to allocate DOIs.

If you are building or running a data archive (within a department or institute, for example) and would like to add a DOI-allocating capability to your system, contact us at

For any further information, contact