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Oxford Research Archive for Data (ORA-Data): How to deposit

Depositing large files

A total of 2GB can be uploaded at once via the online deposit form, either as individual files or folders.

To deposit individual files over 2GB in size, please contact us for details of an alternative file transfer process.

Email us:

How to deposit in ORA-Data

To deposit data:

  • Optional. Prepare for archiving your data by reading our checklist for deposit.
  • Go to the main ORA homepage and click on 'Contribute'; selecting 'Data' will prompt you to log-in using your Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO) details.
  • Once logged-in to your personal 'MyORA' space, you can submit new data by clicking on 'Add a dataset - Go'.

This will open the data deposit form, which will guide you through 6 steps:

  1. Upload files: upload all your data files and supporting documentation. N.B. to deposit data, you must first agree to the ORA-Data deposit agreement.
  2. About your data: describe your dataset, adding as many details as you wish about the research context, subject keywords, dates and geographical location, etc.
  3. About you: add the names, roles and affiliation of the people involved in the creation of the data.
  4. Related publications (optional): link your dataset to any related publications.
  5. Data archiving options: select the appropriate payment option and nominate a data steward to help take responsibility for the ongoing curation of your data. You can also choose to set an embargo for your uploaded files by clicking on 'Edit Details/Embargo' next to the list of file names on this page.
  6. Funders & licences: indicate whether your research was the result of a funding award, and if you wish attach a suitable open data licence.
  • Each field on the form has its own pop-up contextual help.
  • At each step you can choose to 'Save' or continue. You can find your saved items in the 'data deposits' section of your 'MyORA' page, and can edit or delete them at your leisure.
  • When your item is ready, click on 'Submit'. ORA-Data staff will then receive and review your deposit before publishing it online in ORA. If we have any concerns or further questions, we will get in touch with you to discuss your deposit further.

To create a catalogue record about a dataset stored elsewhere:

  • Follow the instructions above for depositing data, but skip step 1 (Upload files) on the deposit form.
  • At step 2 (About your data) on the deposit form, you will have the opportunity to tell us if your data are digital or physical in format and, if appropriate, link to the storage location of your dataset.

If you have any questions or require assistance with any step of the process, please do get in touch with us via the ORA Helpdesk and we will be happy to help.

Recently asked questions...

1.   What if my data exceeds 2GB in size?

Although at the moment only 2GB of data files can be uploaded at once via the online deposit form, we can still accept larger datasets in ORA-Data. To deposit individual files over 2GB in size, please contact us for details of an alternative file transfer process:

2.   Which file formats can I deposit?

We accept any file type in ORA-Data, but you may wish to consider which formats will ensure the broadest possible accessibility by others, both now and in the future. To help future-proof your data you may wish to deposit more than one format of the same item. E.g. plain text files (such as .txt; .csv; .html; .xml) are both human and machine readable, and can be opened in any operating system by a wide range of applications, unlike some proprietary software formats. For more information, you may like to read the Jisc Digital Media guidance on choosing digital file formats:

3.   Can I edit my record after I have submitted it?

Once you press ‘submit’ your record will be sent to our review team to check through before it is published online in ORA. If you then realise that you wish to make a change, please get in touch with us at and we can either make the amendment on your behalf or return the record to your ‘MyORA’ space for you to edit and re-submit.  Be aware, however, that a dataset and some selected record fields may not be amended following publication if a DOI has been registrered.

4.   How can researchers access or use the datasets?

Other researchers will be able to find your datasets in a variety of ways, including: following a DOI citation link; searching the ORA catalogue directly; and searching for your work online (ORA-Data is crawled by Google and other search engines). In the future we also have plans to load records about datasets into the Bodleian Libraries’ online catalogue, SOLO, where data will be searchable alongside a researcher’s other outputs. Once someone has found a dataset they wish to use in ORA-Data, they will be able to click the ‘download’ link to retrieve the files.

5.    How should researchers cite a dataset?

We advise researchers to follow the guidelines outlined by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) in Ball, A. & Duke, M. (2015). ‘How to Cite Datasets and Link to Publications’. DCC How-to Guides. Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre, available online at

An example of citation for an existing ORA-Data deposit is as follows:

Tomkins, D. & Jackson, A. (2015) “Ephemera and the British Empire - colour illustrations”. Oxford University Research Archive. doi: 10.5287/bodleian:xp68kg235

6.   When it is introduced, will the archiving charge be on a per deposit basis?

Yes, the charge for archiving data will be calculated per deposit as an upfront cost, i.e. to be paid at the point of deposit. This one-off charge will cover the period from deposit for as long as the Bodleian holds the data.

7.   How much is the archiving charge likely to be?

According to our current charging model, every dataset deposited in ORA-Data will be subject to a baseline ingest and curation charge (£140), plus a lifetime storage charge which is calculated separately, based on the size of the data package rounded up to the nearest whole gigabyte (£5 per GB). For example, to archive 1GB of data in ORA-Data would cost £145, while to archive 1.5GB of data would cost £150. For more details, please see our online guide: (NB: this charging model is under review as of August 2015 and may be subject to change).

8.    For how long will ORA-Data guarantee data storage?

We will make every effort to retain items in the long-term, and will guarantee at least ten years of storage/availability of the data (in line with the EPSRC’s requirements for data preservation). If a depositor leaves the University, their data deposit will be retained in ORA-Data. We are currently working on drafting a formal preservation policy for the ORA-Data repository.

9.    How much storage does the Bodleian have available for data?

For the ORA-Data free pilot (December 2014 – July 2015) the Bodleian is making 20TB of storage space available for data deposits. We have plans to put significantly more storage (petabyte scale storage) in place, subject to University funding.

10.   Who can I nominate to look after my data deposit if I move jobs?

We strongly advise that everyone depositing data with us nominates a data steward who can potentially help look after the data in the future. We suggest that the responsibility of being a data steward is linked to a particular role rather than to the individual currently holding that position, e.g. your data steward might thus be your ‘Head of Department’ or ‘Faculty Data Manager’ rather than ‘Professor X’. This is to try and ensure that even if the individual acting as your data steward moves on in his/her career, the responsibility of data stewardship will be transferred to the next person to hold the post.

11.   Is a DOI the best way to link my data files to a publication?

DOIs are certainly recommended by RCUK funders for citing data files in a publication. For example, the EPSRC's policy framework on research data management ( states that: 'Published research papers should include a short statement describing how and on what terms any supporting research data may be accessed... This expectation is consistent with the RCUK policy on Open Access, and applies to all papers which acknowledge EPSRC funding with a publication date after 1 May 2015... The expectation could be satisfied by citing such data in the published research and including in such citations direct links to the data or to supporting documentation that describes the data in detail, how it may be accessed and any constraints that may apply. It is important that such links are persistent URLs such as DOIs.

12.   Will the DOI be updated if I later upload a modified version of my data?

The DOI will always point to the ORA-Data catalogue record about your data (with links to download the files). The DOIs we issue contain version information about the dataset, so if you wished to deposit a modified version of your files at a later stage we would treat this as a separate deposit, create a new catalogue record and issue you with a new DOI for the new version of the dataset. You would then in effect have version 1.0 and version 2.0 of your data stored in ORA-Data, and either could be cited by yourself or others using the relevant DOI.

13.   Does ORA-Data record download statistics for my data deposit?

ORA-Data will be tracking download statistics for all deposits with us, but not to the level of identifying users – you will be able to know how many people have viewed your record or downloaded your files, but not who they are.

14.   Is my data big enough to be considered data, as I only have several kilobytes I want to deposit?

We accept any type of digital research data, from across all academic disciplines, and in any file format, with no minimum deposit size.

Oxford University Research Archive






ORA (Oxford University Research Archive) is the institutional repository for the University of Oxford and is home to the scholarly output of its research members. 

Contact us at:, or via our contact form.