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Find a FAIR repository


Find a FAIR repository

Finding a good repository for your data can be a daunting task, with many factors to weigh in.

Metadata is one of the important aspects to consider when choosing a FAIR repository; rich metadata that follows your field’s metadata standards increases the findability, interoperability and reusability of your data. Citeability is another important aspect; if your data gets a DOI it will be easier to find and cite, and you will be able to track who uses it. Licensing is also important; you should be able to state a license for your data so it can be reused by others.

In the long term, the sustainability of your data - financially and technically - is the most important aspect of all. Warning signs include missing long-term funding or support, inadequate data backup routines and lack of data retention or preservation policies.

  • Check if there are any guidelines from your institution or research funding organization for selecting a repository.
  • Use a registry search tool or listing, like the Repository Finder (searches the Re3data registry) or, to find repositories in your field.
    • If you can, use a domain-specific repository so you publish your data with richer metadata and make it easier to find, access and reuse for others in your field. For neuroscience, you can use the INCF infrastructure portfolio [link TBA] or the INCF Infrastructure Committee’s list of criteria for neuroscience repositories and science gateways.
    • If there are no domain-specific repositories, consider using cross-field repository services like DataCite, Dryad, Zenodo, or the Open Science Framework (OSF). 


Some considerations for choosing a general repository:

Does the metadata schema matter?

DataCite has a detailed metadata schema, regularly updated (1-2 years) with community input. The current version is 4.4.

   Most repositories are compliant with a subset of DataCite’s metadata schema, but not necessarily the newest version:

  • Zenodo's metadata schema is compliant with DataCite's Metadata Schema minimum and recommended terms, with a few additional enrichments. No version given.

  • Dryad’s metadata schema is ‘compliant with DataCites’s metadata schema’ (no version or level given).

  • OpenAIRE has adopted the DataCite Metadata Schema v3.1 with some minor adjustments.

Do you need DOI versioning for your submission?

DOI versioning allows you edit/update the record’s files after they have been published, cite a specific version of a record, and cite all versions of a record.

  • Dryad allows versioning. All versions of a dataset will be accessible, but the dataset DOI will always resolve to the newest version.
  • Zenodo allows versioning, with one DOI for all versions and separate DOIs for each version.
  • OSF has built-in version control for all files stored in a project.
How big is your dataset?
  • Dryad accepts datasets up to 300GB.
  • Zenodo’s total size limit per record is 50GB. Higher quotas can be requested and granted on a case-by-case basis.
  • OSF has a 5GB limit for private projects, 50GB for public projects. Larger projects can be divided into linked components. Individual files must be 5GB or less to be uploaded to OSF Storage.
Are you sharing code?
  • Zenodo offers easy integration with GitHub.
  • Dryad: For software scripts and snapshots of software source code, files can be uploaded via Dryad and published at Zenodo,
Which license do you want for your data?
Is your data sensitive?
  • Dryad does not accept submissions that contain personally identifiable human subject information. Human subjects data must be properly anonymized and prepared under applicable legal and ethical guidelines.
  • OSF allows parts of projects to be made public (e.g. data) while other parts remain private (e.g. presentation materials).
Are you part of a community with needs for specific metadata and standards?

OSF offers the possibility to set up a Community Operated Registry; a customized, branded registry hosted on the OSF Registry infrastructure that enables a community to set its own standards for registration with custom registration templates, moderate registration submissions to curate and enforce standards.