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Where to share research materials

We encourage all authors to consider making the evidence that supports their research findings, including quantitative data and qualitative materials, available to others in the interests of research transparency and reproducibility. However we recognise that sharing evidence in this way is still an emerging practice in many fields, many of which do not have established best practices about where and how to share materials.

Repositories

Usually the best place to share research materials is in a dedicated repository. Several thousand of these exist, catering to many kinds of quantitative data and qualitative materials . We recommend you make your materials available through a repository that:

  • Is supported and recognised by the community as appropriate for the content it holds.
  • Assigns unique permanent identifiers to its content.
  • Is committed to the long-term preservation and accessibility of its content.
  • Allows you to include licence information for the reuse of content you deposit.
  • Does not charge for public access to its holdings, with reasonable exceptions (such as administration charges for the distribution of physical materials).

You may also want to consider whether your research materials include sensitive information, in which case you may need to select a repository that allows for access controls; and your journal’s peer review process, which may require you to select a repository that allows for peer reviewers to access an anonymised version of your materials.

Finding a repository

Many of our journals recommend repositories that are appropriate for the research they publish, so please check your journal’s instructions for recommendations. Your funder may also have advice or recommendations on choosing an appropriate repository.

Other places to seek advice include your colleagues, your institutional library, and peers in your research field. There are also several databases of repositories available online. You can search for and filter repositories at re3data.org or FAIRsharing.org to find repositories in your research area, and narrow down your search by other criteria. DataCite’s Repository Finder also allows you to search for repositories that are aligned with the FAIR principles . Alternatively, you can deposit your materials in a multi-disciplinary repository such as Dataverse, Dryad, the Qualitative Data Repository or Zenodo .

If you have further questions about sharing data or finding an appropriate repository, please contact researchdata@cambridge.org.