There are more than 1,000 repositories where scientists can deposit data and documents associated with their manuscripts. The majority of these are subject-specific—there are ones specialized for chemical and molecular structures (Crystallography Open Database, Protein Data Bank, Coherent X-ray Imaging Data Bank), neuroimaging data (OpenNeuro, NeuroVault), and mathematical models (BioModels, The Network Data Exchange), just to name a few. Several publishers recommend that authors submit their material to such subject-specific repositories whenever possible. 

See “The Push to Replace Journal Supplements with Repositories

Subject-specific repositories provide a few advantages, according to Grace Baynes, the vice president of research data and new product development at Springer Nature: they’re designed with the specific research community that’s using those data in mind, and putting data into a repository that your peers use may optimize your chances of connecting with a future collaborator. But such repositories still...

Here’s a brief guide to some of the most commonly used general-purpose repositories. 

Repository nameType of files acceptedSize limitsSubmission feeDOI assignment available
DryadAny formatNone listed$120 US per data package (all data associated with one publication)Yes
figshareAny format5 GB per file for free accounts, but files up to 5 TB in size possibleFree for individuals, paid accounts for institutionsYes
Harvard DataverseAny format2 GB per file (multiple uploads possible)Free up to 1 TBYes
Open Science Framework (Center for Open Science)No restrictions listed5 GB per file (larger files can be stored as add-ons from other providers)FreeYes
Mendeley Data (Elsevier)Any format10 GB per datasetFreeYes
Zenodo (CERN)Any format50 GB per dataset (larger files allowed on a case-by-case basis)FreeYes

Diana Kwon is a Berlin-based freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter @DianaMKwon

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