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Oxford Research Archive - Data: Charges

Estimating data volumes

When trying to estimate how much data might be generated in a new project, it can be helpful to establish a point of comparison – what volume of data was collected in the most recent similar project for which figures are available?

To assess how the amount of data produced by your project might differ, you may wish to consider the following factors:

  • Will the timescale of your project be different? E.g. will you be collecting data over a longer or shorter period?
  • Will there be a change in the % of data collected, gathered or used that will be digital?
  • Will there be a change in the % of data consisting of digital audio, still or moving images? If so, Jisc Digital Media may be able to help you estimate the likely impact on file sizes.
  • If the data is being represented digitally, will the accuracy of the data capture be different? E.g. will higher-resolution images be used?
  • Will there be a change in how many data points, observations, human (or other) subjects you plan to work with?
  • Will there be a change in sampling frequency? E.g. will there be a different number of surveys, instrument readings, image capture rates, etc.?
  • Will different (or newer versions of) software or file formats be used?
  • Will your project use any specialist software or bespoke equipment?

Charges for ORA-Data


ORA-Data free pilot 


Use of ORA-Data is free to researchers during the current pilot phase and at the present time. A number of business models are under consideration to cover ongoing service costs. If a charging model is adopted, it will be possible to include the fee for ORA-Data in X5 as a small research facility for inclusion in research applications. 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. We would appreciate your views on the business model for ORA-Data – please email us at

How much data is 1GB?

Data shopping baskets

The following examples suggest how 1GB of research data might be composed. They are intended for illustrative purposes only, and are based on assumptions about average file sizes that may not reflect your own research practices.

1GB = 1 relational database*

*assuming average database file size of 800MB

1GB = 56 SPSS files*

*assuming average SPSS file size of 18MB

1GB = 60 Word files + 50 PDF files + 80 Excel spreadsheets*

*assuming average Word file size of 350KB, PDF file size of 4MB and spreadsheet size of 10MB

1GB = 340 digital images*

*assuming average image file size of 3MB

1GB = 252 MP3 audio files + 252 plain text files + 1 Excel spreadsheet*

*assuming average MP3 file size of 4MB, plain text file size of 40KB and spreadsheet size of 2MB

1GB = 3000 XML-encoded digital texts*

*assuming average XML file size of 330KB

1GB is assumed to be equal to 1024 MB, and some leeway has also been factored in to make up this sum.

Oxford Research Archive

Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) is an institutional repository for the University of Oxford and is home to the scholarly output of its research members. It holds publications, theses and research data.

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