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Publish research data

Make your data findable, usable and citable

When planning your research, you should consider the possibility of publishing your research data. By publishing your data, you can increase the discoverability of your research and contribute to the discovery of new research outcomes by allowing others to reuse your data.

Increasingly, many journals, publishers and funders are requiring that you make the data underlying your research findings available. In Australia, funding agencies, such as the ARC and NHMRC strongly encourage you to share your research data if you receive any funding through their grants.

When publishing in a journal or applying for grant funding, make sure you check to see if the publishers or funders have a data sharing or publishing policy.

How to publish data

The best way to make your research data available is by publishing it in a data repository. When doing this, you need to make sure your data can be found, accessed and understood by other people. Our guide to publishing your data gives you information on how you can do this.

Data repositories

Data repositories or archives are usually the best option for storing and sharing your research data in the long term. Depending on your discipline or research area, you may have several options when it comes to publishing your research data

University repository
  • The Sydney eScholarship repository is the University's open access institutional repository. You should consider using the repository to archive and publish your research outputs, including research datasets, if they are less than 2GB and can be made openly available.

    If you’d like to publish your data in the institutional repository, please review the User Guidelines and step-by-step submission guides. Files that are 2GB and under can be submitted directly to the repository. To submit files larger than 2GB, contact repository administrators at

Discipline-specific repositories
  • Publishing in a discipline-specific repository enhances the chance of your data being found and reused by researchers in your field. Discipline-specific data repositories are also a great way for you to find existing datasets to use in your own research. These repositories are excellent for long term preservation of your research data, however, they are likely to have strict requirements for what kinds of a data are accepted and you will need to plan well in advance to ensure your data meets these. You can find more information about how to find discipline-specific repositories in our guide to publishing data.

General repositories
  • When a discipline-specific repository isn’t available, or if you want to reach a wider audience, you can publish in a general repository like Figshare or Mendeley Data. General repositories accept a diverse range of datasets, regardless of discipline. As these repositories cater for a large diverse collection, they often ask for a minimal amount of information compared to discipline-specific repositories. If you are considering depositing data in a general repository, download our basic metadata template, fill in as much information as you can about your dataset and then upload this to the general repository along with your dataset.

    Data papers and journals

    Data journals can help expose your published research data to a wider audience. Papers submitted to a data journal are usually brief, only focusing on how the data was collected and processed, rather than coming to any conclusions or analysis.

    You can find more information about data journals on the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) website

Publishing or sharing sensitive data
  • Non-identifiable sensitive data can legally be shared or published provided you have consent to do so and there is no mechanism for re-identifying any of the data. If you have data you’d like to publish and are unsure if you’re allowed, contact the Digital Collections team.


    Informed consent must be obtained before collecting data from participants in research. You must obtain consent from participants to publish, share or reuse their data (including publishing it in an open or mediated access archive). Templates for consent forms and further information are available on the Ethics website.

    Removing identifying information

    In most circumstances data that you publish should have identifying characteristics removed to ensure that individuals can’t be identified. This includes ensuring, where possible, that individuals will remain anonymous if their data is linked with other datasets. You can find more information and some useful tools for this process on our publishing guide.