Data archiving and sharing

A data archive is a place to securely hold digital research data of any sort along with documentation that helps explain what they are and how to use them (metadata). The application of consistent archiving policies, preservation techniques and discovery tools, further increases the long term availability and usefulness of the data.

An archive is for stable (completed) versions of data. Once data are deposited, they remain in that state and are attributable via a persistent identifier. Archives are not research data workspaces. If you want an online tool to manage your research data, IT Services offers the Online Research Database Service for this purpose.


ORA-Data is one of a suite of support services designed to help researchers access, create, archive, share and cite research data. It holds catalogue records of archived research data deposited at specialist archives. It also holds research data deposits of its own.
How will it help your research?

ORA-Data is aimed at Oxford researchers who have either deposited data at external archives and want a centralised record of this, or need a repository to deposit research data. The Oxford Research Archive already acts as a searchable repository of theses and publications. ORA-Data extends this capability to research data.

Using the service will prevent loss of data and increase the impact of your research. It will make your data accessible in a way you think appropriate and preserve it for future use.

ORA-Data will be of interest to researchers or project managers who wish to:

  • include an entry for their dataset in the Oxford catalogue of research data, irrespective of where it’s archived
  • provide permanent links between publications and underlying data
  • use a repository for secure long-term preservation of raw data and associated documentation
  • create a collection that may be cited to internationally agreed standards increasing their research profile
  • create a data collection that may be appropriately shared by other researchers
  • fulfil funding bodies requirements to take active steps in preserving data and documentation
  • assign a digital object identifier (DOI) to their dataset for citation and attribution

For further advice on accessing and using ORA-Data, take a look at the ORA-Data guide or contact