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Research Data Management: Data Repositories

This library guide outlines the basics of data management and creating a data management plan.

Data Repository

Research data repositories

Digital Research data is best preserved and published using a research data repository. A repository enables the publication, preservation, and curation of data underpinning published research. It is an online database archive that manages the long-term storage and preservation and of digital resources and provides a platform for the data to be accessible, discoverable and citeable. Research funding agencies now increasingly mandate that the data generated during research projects they pay for to be preserved and made available to others for periods of 10 years or more beyond the point of research publication. Some publishers provides data centres for that purpose. Some journal publishers specify repositories in which data may be deposited.



  • Enables publication of research data, with a unique Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for citation.
  • Enables the preservation and curation of research data beyond the lifetime of a project.
  • Anyone can search the Repository for data with The data content is indexed by major search engines and enables anyone to search for the data.
  • Enables compliance with Research Councils and other major funding bodies’ policies.
  • Improve the reproducibility of your research findings
  • Receive credit via the citation of your data in future research
  • Ensure that your data can be re-used, re-analysed, or combined with other datasets in future, to contribute to the advancement of your field
  • Ensure you can locate and access the data yourself in the future, without having to actively manage it and maintain it.

Figshare is a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner.

Figshare allows users to upload any file format to be previewed in the browser so that any research output, from posters and presentations to datasets and code, can be disseminated in a way that the current scholarly publishing model does not allow.

The University of South Africa launches Institutional Data Repository powered by Figshare

The University of South Africa (UNISA) launches its Institutional Data Repository, powered by Figshare, available at The repository is a valuable tool to showcase Unisa’s research data to the global audience. This world-class resource will increase visibility for Unisa researchers, thus validating their research data credibility. Figshare provides a platform to comply with policies and mandates around open research by funders. 

UNISA’s new data repository will allow researchers to be credited for their supplementary research data by assigning persistent DOIs - Digital Object Identifiers - to published data and will accept any file type for submission. Over 1,200 file types are visualized in the browser increasing engagement with the data while measuring usage impact through views, downloads, citations, and Altmetrics tracker. To submit data, researchers can log in with their Unisa credentials, on and off campus.

For more information, visit

or contact

Repository Finder, a pilot project of the Enabling FAIR Data Project led by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in partnership with DataCite and the Earth, space and environment sciences community, can help you find an appropriate repository to deposit your research data. The tool is hosted by DataCite.