Data Archiving (ORA-Data)

What is ORA-Data?

ORA-Data is an archival store for digital data produced as a result of research by Oxford academics. It is provided by the Bodleian Libraries. ORA-Data complements other data archives by providing a local archive for researchers who are not able or do not want to deposit their data elsewhere; ORA-Data is not intended to replace national, subject, or other established data collections. ORA-Data can be used to store data that underpins scholarly publications, so that the data can be cited and accessed (if applicable). ORA-Data was launched as a pilot service on 1 December 2014 and will continue to be developed towards providing full support for researchers for EPSRC data compliance by 1 May 2015.

What does ORA-Data offer?

  1. A DOI for each dataset stored in ORA-Data, so that the data can be cited (this is particularly important for data that underpins publications).
  2. Long-term preservation and curation of your data. Your data will remain accessible in the long term.
  3. Help for researchers in meeting funding agency requirements.
  4. Descriptive terms (metadata) assigned to your data in compliance with international standards. Metadata makes your items discoverable both by manual searching and by search engines; rich metadata can be assigned to make your data understandable to potential users (including other researchers who might want to cite the dataset) and suitable for long-term preservation.
  5. A licence automatically assigned to your datasets (currently CC0, but other licences can be assigned if desired).
  6. Data and metadata can be embargoed or made freely available as required.

What sort of data can I deposit in ORA-Data?

ORA-Data is agnostic with respect to file types and metadata. Any file type can be deposited and stored, as can any metadata in XML format. In addition to individual files, ORA-Data accepts data packages, i.e., data objects comprising many mixed file types such as processed data spreadsheets, raw data in any form, text, and audio files. Data objects can also be in the form of zipped files that can be automatically unzipped if required.

What exactly is archived in ORA-Data?

Data in ORA-Data are managed and curated so that they remain findable, accessible and reusable in the long term. ORA-Data provides bit stream preservation of research data; it cannot retain all the structural information of a relational database, or the user interface features of a website. By storing and preserving the data in ORA-Data, however, researchers are able to retrieve their data and use it to answer new research questions and to query the data in different ways to build new services on top of the data. If datasets are created using proprietary software (e.g., MSAccess), continued access and reuse may be problematic; some manufacturers protect the internal structure of their files and some do not make future upgrades back-compatible. If you have questions on technical matters, please contact David Tomkins in the Bodleian Libraries. 

How much does it cost?

Use of ORA-Data is currently free to researchers, though a number of business models are under consideration to cover ongoing service costs. It is not yet decided how the costs of running the ORA-Data service will be covered in the longer term, for example through central funding, research grants or by other means.

How do I deposit my data in ORA-Data?

To deposit your data in ORA-Data, please visit and select 'Deposit Data'.

For further information and help with using ORA-Data, please see our online ORA-Data LibGuide and our step-by-step How to deposit guide.

When depositing data, please be aware of the ORA-Data Policy Summary and our policy on DOIs. Please also note the Bodleianís policy on Research Data Management and the University of Oxford Policy on the Management of Research Data and Records.

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