As publishers and funders increasingly require that data used in your journal articles is published and cited, you might feel a bit overwhelmed at the options for doing this. Different organisations have different practices and there are various repository options out there. (For example, Springer has partnered with figshare, but Elsevier recommends using Mendeley Data). Does it really matter where your data is? Don’t we all just want to use the easiest and quickest solution?

Fundamentally, as long as data is published in a repository that meets funder and University requirements, it doesn’t usually matter which repository it is. Two crucial factors are long-term preservation of the data (10years+) and the assignment of a persistent identifier to the dataset (usually a DOI). The data description should also be open and discoverable online, with appropriate access restrictions and links to corresponding papers, etc.

If your funder specifies a repository to use (e.g. the UK Data Archive for ESRC work, or a NERC or BBSRC repository), that’s obviously the one to choose. Otherwise, CORD, our institutional repository, is a very safe bet and our repository of choice – that’s why we implemented it, after all! By sticking with CORD, you only need to be familiar with one system and process. You can use it for any research output with the relevant access control and reserve your DOI in advance, to use in your paper. It’s really simple to use – as demonstrated in our short video, “Five steps to compliance” (2:43).

Because CORD is our institutional repository, it’s a nice solution as we have control over it, including terms, conditions, costs, openness, retention periods, data exports, free in-house support, etc, and it creates our central portal where we showcase our work to external partners, and generate our institutional metrics. You then just have one repository to use for all outputs independent of publisher or project, and will soon be using CORD at warp speed to upload data and other research outputs. In published papers, you can still simply link to your underlying data on CORD where that is the most appropriate repository – there should be no need to have to learn different repositories/processes.

Need any more help with CORD? Get in touch with Georgina Parsons on or chat at the Library’s regular Research Support Stands in the B52 Forum (11am-1pm on the first Tuesday of the month), B83 Forum (11am-1pm on the first Wednesday of the month), and the Slim Atrium (12-2pm on the first Thursday of the month).


Image by Garrett Coakley, Flickr, CC-BY-NC