Accessing data

Further access requirements


Most data sources allow you to browse the catalogue and even analyse data using their own analytical tools. At various stages, you may be required to register, even for subscription data. Generally, this is to record information on how the data is being used and as part of an authentication process.

Databases A-Z

Resources listed in Databases A-Z that have further access requirements will display a symbol and state the requirement within the database entry.

How to access subscription data

Data collections purchased outright or subscribed to by the Bodleian Libraries are generally distributed across the IT network. These are catalogued like any other research resource. You can use SOLO to make keyword searches or to search for specific resources.

In most cases, Databases A-Z offers additional functionality and allows searches of data collections and databases by name and by subject area.

To access many resources, you will need your Oxford SSO (Single Sign On).

Restricted data

Some data collections cannot be distributed across the University's network, due to licensing restrictions or the confidential nature of content. These collections may be held at individual Oxford libraries or departments. The Bodleian Data Service is bringing many of these collections together into one holding. Find out more about access to restricted data.

Where to go for advice

Social sciences: advice on accessing data for research purposes

Data is discoverable via:

  • Databases A-Z

It will be accessible if:

  • available via subscription
  • managed by the Bodleian Data Service
  • held by the Oxford Research Archive (ORA or ORA-Data)
  • held by an external repository

Accessing the data

This may be from an open data portal or from a third party. The data is made available without restrictions on usage.

Using and sharing the data

The data can be used and shared with third parties without restriction. The source should be acknowledged in accordance with usual academic practice.


There should be no need to seek further advice from the University.


Accessing the data

The University has entered into a licence agreement with the provider. Data can be accessed online by researchers, often by using their Single-Sign On.

Using and sharing the data

The data can be used without restriction, but cannot be shared with third parties. Data users should acknowledge the source of the data in accordance with usual academic practice.


Contact your subject library or the Data Librarian (

Accessing data

Restricted data are stored but an access or registration procedure is in place. An institutional signature may be requested. The licence grants individual researchers a one-time use of the data for a specific project.

Using and sharing the data

The researchers' rights / obligations regarding using, publishing,  and sharing the data will be stipulated in the contract with the data provider and is generally audited.


Procedures vary depending on the resource and supplier. Contact the Data Librarian (

Accessing other restricted data

Sensitive data from a third party that is not publically available with no established access procedure. Access is by special arrangement. An institutional signature is often requested.

Using and sharing the data

The researchers' rights and obligations regarding using, publishing, and sharing the data will be stipulated in the contract with the data provider.


Obtain an agreement in principle from data provider. Contact Research Services for a contract to be prepared: Humanities & Social Sciences Team (