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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, labelled and documented, and then simply upload your data to a data repository. You can:

  • upload your data to Apollo, the University of Cambridge institutional repository (Apollo is CoreTrustSeal certified repository)
  • choose an alternative data repository.
  • 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, Apollo

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 receive the dataset DOI to cite in your publications data access statement and reference list. If you want to update files that have already been approved into Apollo, you can do this with DOI versioning, please contact the Research Data Team and send the updated files and they will be able to create the new DOI version for you.


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 is a CoreTrustSeal repository

Apollo achieved CoreTrustSeal certification in May 2023, having been selected as one of ten repositories to take part in FAIRsFAIR Repository Support Programme. This marks Apollo as a trusted digital repository, joining a host of other CoreTrustSeal certified data repositories. Apollo's CoreTrustSeal application and assessment is available in full in Apollo and you can read a blog post in Unlocking Research from May 2023 that announces 'Apollo acheives CoreTrustSeal certification!'.


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, GEO or GenBank for genetic data, or the UK Data Service for Social Sciences and Humanities data. You can also look at the selection of some other discipline-specific repositories listed by Scientific Data or by PLOS.
  • re3data is a global registry of research data repositories, so you can search their database to find the best repository to host your data. also provides a similar offering.  re3data enables you to filter repositories by those that are certified, which provides a measure of greater repository quality and trustworthiness.
  • You may also decide to submit your data to a general purpose repository, such as Zenodo.
  • It is important that the repository you choose can be considered trustworthy. To explain what it means for a repository to be trustworthy and how to find one, then please see the OpenAire Guide for Researchers on 'How to find a trustworthy repository for your data'. The following considerations will also help you to make a decision.


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?
  • How long will your data be stored for?
  • Does the repository offer assurances that the data will be preserved if the repository goes out of service at some point in the future?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?



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