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Who can submit data to the repository?

Anyone with a valid Cambridge CRSid can simply upload the data by logging into Symplectic Elements. Guidance for first time users is available in several forms. Anyone who has a legitimate reason to submit their data to the University of Cambridge data repository, but who does not have a valid CRSid, should e-mail us to request an external user access.

What can be submitted?

Only research data connected to the University of Cambridge can be deposited in the Repository. This includes datasets created by current or former University of Cambridge researchers, research students or staff members; datasets resulting from research conducted at the University of Cambridge; datasets that appear in a journal published, or a conference hosted, by the University; or datasets resulting from research undertaken using University facilities.

Information required in the data submission form

Information about the nature of the data

When submitting your data we will ask you if your data contain any personal/sensitive, commercially-sensitive or other forms of confidential/restricted information and whether you have the rights to share these data via the Repository.

Information about personal/sensitive information 
For information about personal/sensitive information have a look here. If you have any doubts about this question, please consult the University of Cambridge Ethics pages or e-mail the University’s Research Governance and Integrity Officer.

Information about other forms of confidential/restricted information 
Examples of other forms of confidential/restricted information might include cases where there are confidentiality/publication restrictions in sponsorship or collaborations agreements, or, for example, where research data is subject to UK export control law.

Rights to share the data

Depositors must confirm that they have the authority or permission to deposit data. This includes obtaining permission to share the data from any third parties who might hold rights over this dataset.
If you have any doubts about your rights to deposit and share your data, please consult (in the given order):

  • the Principal Investigator responsible for this study (if you are not the Principal Investigator)
  • your Departmental Administrator (or equivalent)
  • the appropriate Contracts Manager at the Research Operations Office.

Compulsory information about your dataset

When you submit your data to us we will ask for:

  • Title of the dataset
  • Information about whether your data supports a publication or not
    • If your data supports a publication, we will also ask you for details of the publication (title of the publication, name of the journal, if available: DOI of the publication, embargo information)
    • Please note that we will only embargo datasets until the related publication has been made available.
  • The authors of the dataset
  • Description of the data
    • This is important contextual information about the dataset. Where is this data from? How was the data generated? Give details about your data that would help someone else understand your data.
  • Keywords – to make your data discoverable via search engines
  • Sponsorship information and grant IDs
  • Information on file formats:
    • We will ask you to list all file formats in your dataset.
    • You are strongly encouraged to submit your dataset in open formats, to facilitate long-term preservation and accessibility of your data. However, we recognise that it is not always possible to export all data files into open formats. Therefore, research data in proprietary file formats will be also accepted by the Repository, but we will ask you to provide information about software needed to read and process your files.
    • Guidance on choosing file formats is available here.
  • Software:
    • Information about the software needed to read your files or any other information that someone might find useful when trying to open/process your data files.
  • Licence for your data:
    • You will be required to indicate what type of licence you would like to be applied to your research data. You can read information about available licences here and a nice graphic explaining licence types can be viewed here.

Optional information

  • Related resources
    • If you would like us to link your dataset with other relevant existing resources (for example, your other existing publications, other datasets, external reports, webpages, news articles etc.), please provide URLs here.
    • Open Researcher and Contributor 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.
  • Name of the Principal Investigator – if you are not the Principal Investigator, you will be asked to indicate who was the Principal Investigator
  • Additional information:
    • You can provide any additional information about your data here, for example, if you need the link to your data urgently (we normally process data submissions and provide you with a link within three working days), if this is a placeholder record, if you wish this dataset to be visible only to the reviewers etc.

Compulsory administrative information

We will also ask for some administrative information about you in order to process and preserve your research data:

  • Your name and surname
  • Your e-mail address
  • Your department/institute

Data files

Finally, you will be asked to upload your files. Note that the maximum file size for individual files is 2GB. If the total size of your dataset exceeds 20GB, there will be an additional charge of £4 per exceeding GB. Please contact us if you would like to either submit individual files that exceed 2GB or your submission is larger than 20GB in total.

Data submitters are also responsible for consulting the guidance on file formats before submitting their data to the data repository.

What happens after we receive your data submission?

You will receive an e-mail that your files have been submitted. After receiving your data files we will review your data submission before it can be uploaded into the repository. We will be checking the following:

  • Is this dataset submitted by (or on behalf of) a current/former University of Cambridge researcher, research students, or a member of staff?
  • Does the submitter have the rights to share the data via the Repository?
  • Does the dataset contain any confidential/restricted information?
  • Is the submission accompanied by appropriate metadata description?
  • Are the file formats suitable for long-term preservation of data files?
    • If not, could the files be exported to a different file format, more suitable for preservation?

We will get back to you within three working days. If we think that any information is missing, we will get in touch with you to request the missing information. If all the information is provided, we will upload your data into the repository and send you the DOI to your dataset.


If you have any questions about data submissions or data sharing, please review the frequently asked questions. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact us.

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