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What shall I do to make my data available?

To make your data available first make sure that it is properly organised and labelled, and then simply upload your data to a data repository. You can:

  • upload your data to the University repository
  • choose an alternative data repository – for guidance on available data repositories please have a look here
  • sometimes your funder (e.g. ESRC or NERC) will require that you deposit your data into a specified data repository
    • NERC data repository: NERC data centre
      • you must deposit your research data into the NERC data centre if you receive funding from them
    • ESRC preferred data repository: ESRC UK Data Service (UKDS)
      • UKDS also provides thorough guidance on data deposition
    • Read more about ESRC and NERC data policies


Upload your data to the University repository

If you would like to deposit your data into Apollo, the University of Cambridge repository, you can do so via Symplectic Elements. There are instructions on how to upload your data using Symplectic Elements as well as further guidance on the data submission process, such as who can submit data, what can be submitted and the information that is required. Once you have uploaded your data files and accepted the terms and conditions you will receive a persistent link to your data via email. Once you have marked your dataset as 'final', the Research Data team will review your submission and upload your data into the repository. Please allow up to three working days for your dataset to be uploaded to the repository. Please note that our DOI policy states that datasets cannot be changed (e.g. files added, removed or amended) after they have been approved into the repository. Only finalised datasets will be processed into the repository. If you wish to submit a dataset in draft form to be finalised later (e.g. after peer review) then choose to submit your dataset as a placeholder record – you will still receive the dataset DOI to cite in your publication immediately after submission. 


Do I need to pay for sharing my research data via the University data repository?

The current one-off charge for long-term curated data storage at the University of Cambridge repository is £4/GB for datasets above 20GB. This cost should be budgeted into all future grant applications.

This charge of £4/GB will cover the cost of:

  • Storage in a curated and managed server
  • Hardware and curation
  • Providing a display and search mechanism for your data
  • Backing up your data at three different locations
  • Protection, storage and sharing of your data for as long as it is required by your funder (or for as long as your data are used by others).

Please note that this price is being regularly reviewed and might change in the future. If you have any questions, please contact us.

How is the payment going to be processed?

If your data is above 20GB, we will ask you for the grant code that should be charged for your data submission. The total charge will be £4/GB multiplied by the total amount of GB of data you are submitting to us. So for example, if you are submitting 22GB of data, we will invoice your grant for £88. We will contact the finance manager at your Department to deal with the invoicing (we will cc you to the e-mail), but you will not need to worry about this.

What if I cannot pay for my data?

Recovering the costs of data storage is crucial for the sustainability of the University of Cambridge repository. However, if you are unable to pay for your data from your research grant, please e-mail us indicating how much data do you wish to submit, and we will see if we can help. We will consider every request on a case by case basis.


Apollo selected for FAIRsFAIR Trust & FAIR certification support

FAIRsFAIR is playing a key role in the contribution to policies and practices for broader adoption of FAIR practices, and in the development of standards for FAIR certification of repositories. Through an Open Call run between July and August 2019, Apollo was chosen by FAIRsFAIR to be supported on the path towards achieving CoreTrustSeal certification

The submissions were assessed based on the repository's designated community, its focus on long-term preservation and reuse, and on the feasibility of it being able to achieve CoreTrustSeal certification within the timeframe available. A diverse geographical and disciplinary spread among the selected repositories was also of importance.

About the support received

FAIRsFAIR provides support and capacity building, including materials, training and advice to repository managers and other stakeholders so they can improve their knowledge of the preparation required for CoreTrustSeal self-assessments. At the same time, the repositories share with the FAIRsFAIR project their valuable experience of how repository practices enable the curation of FAIR data. FAIRsFAIR actively engages with Apollo and the other selected repositories. Together, we collaborate on the journey to Trust and FAIR.


What if I don't want to use the University repository?

If you would like to make your data available, there are plenty of data repositories other than the University repository to choose from:

  • Sometimes your funder will require you to deposit your data in a certain repository. To see if your funder has a preferred repository, please check the research data policy of your funder.
  • If your funder does not have a preferred repository of choice, you may wish to use a discipline-specific repository which is frequently used in your field of research. Doing so will make your data easy to find for your community. There are many repositories of this type, for example arXiv for mathematical and physical sciences, GEO for genomic datasets, the University of Oxford Text Archive for literary and linguistic materials, or UK Data Archive for Social Sciences and Humanities. You can also look at the selection of some other discipline-specific repositories provided by Scientific Data or by PLOS journals.
  • re3data is a global registry of research data repositories, so you can search their database to find the best repository to host your data.
  • You may also decide to submit your data to a general purpose repository, such as Zenodo.


Some general considerations when deciding on where to deposit your data:

  • Are the repository’s terms and conditions acceptable?
  • Where is your data going to be stored?
  • Are you allowed to provide information about your ORCID ID? 
    ORCID provides each academic with a unique identifier, and is increasingly required by publishers and by data repositories at the stage of research output submission. The use of ORCID ensures that each academic’s research activities are distinguished from those of others with similar names.
  • Will your dataset be given a permanent DOI?
    The use of persistent Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), such as Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), ensures that your data has a permanent location. The URL or DOI will not change if you leave the University, or if the website is re-designed – the link to your data is permanent.
  • Is the repository used by the people in your discipline?
  • Does the repository allow you to describe your data sufficiently so it is easy to find?



Please have a look here or contact us.

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