Research data management

Figshare FAQs

This is a list of frequently asked questions about using the Figshare data repository.

You can also search the Figshare Knowledge Portal if the answer to your question can't be found below.

1) What is the difference between SRO and Figshare?

SRO is the Institutional Repository for Sussex, and is the place to put your publications. Figshare is the repository for research data, and has features specifically designed to support data access.

2) What kind of data should I add to Figshare?

You can add research data you need to make available to support a publication. By agreement you can also add data which does not directly support a specific research output but you wish to make public. Contact research-data@sussex.ac.uk.

3) Can I add older data to Figshare?

If it supports a publication [and is accessible nowhere else] then probably. If it is data just sitting around with no home then probably not.

4) Can I/should I transfer data or data metadata records from my previous institution?

Generally we would not be permitted to transfer your data as it would be linked to work done at your previous institution. It is possible to create a metadata only record to link to and highlight key datasets.

5) Will data on Figshare appear on my web profile?

Not yet, but this is a planned development.

6) If I add a paper to SRO, what do I need to do on Figshare if I have a supporting dataset?

Where there is a dataset on Figshare and a corresponding research paper on SRO, there will be links on each record directing to the other. You will need to add your paper to SRO as normal, and also log into Figshare and upload your dataset. Library staff will link the two for you.

7) Can I get a DOI for my dataset from Figshare?

Yes. You can reserve one in advance to add to the proofs of your paper, by following our guidance on reserving your DOI on the Submit your Data page. 

8) I need to embargo my data. Can I set an embargo on Figshare?

Yes. You can set an embargo for the data only, or the data and the metadata record overall. This will lift automatically at the end of the embargo period and be freely available.

9) What licence should I make data available under?

Figshare will default to CC BY 4.0, which permits reuse of the data subject to attribution. All the Creative Commons Licences are supported. Other licences can also be added on request by emailing research-data@sussex.ac.uk.

It is best practice to make your data available under as open a licence as possible. Consider the requirements of your funder as well as any agreements (e.g. with industry partners) relating to non-commercial use.

10) Can I use Figshare to collaborate with my colleagues in other institutions?

We recommend that you use the University of Sussex Box.com storage for collaborating with external partners. See this ITS guide on Box to learn more.

11) Can I publish data in Figshare that has been created in research in collaboration with other institutions?

Yes. You can reflect co-authorship when adding your record to Figshare. If the data is deposited in the repository of the other institution, you can create a metadata only record and link to this.

12) Should I add my data to Figshare or a subject/journal repository?

We would recommend depositing data in the place it is most likely to be found by other researchers, so if a subject repository is most commonly used then continue to deposit there but create a metadata only record and add to Figshare. You can find suitable subject repositories using re3data.

13) What are the benefits of adding a metadata only record to Figshare if the data is held elsewhere?

Adding a record to Figshare makes your dataset more discoverable, increasing possible citation and reuse. It will update your ORCiD details automatically.

14) Who can use Figshare?

Researchers have automatically been granted access to Figshare. This includes current doctoral researchers. Figshare is not available to undergraduates or taught postgraduates, who we would encourage to use Box.

15) Can I upload confidential data?

Yes. You can mark this data as ‘confidential’ when you upload it. The metadata will be made available but only you will be able to see the data when you are logged in. See this Figshare guide to see how to upload data.

16) Can Figshare manage access to confidential data?

Yes. You can provide a contact email in the metadata of the confidential file. The data owner can then create and share a private link with the requester to give them access to the data.

17) What file types does Figshare support?

You can upload any file type to Figshare. Figshare also supports the visualisation of many file formats directly from within the browser. See this Figshare guide on supported file types.

18) How much storage space do I have. Can I request more.

Every researcher has 5GB of storage space on Figshare and you can request more space from within the Figshare interface. Just hover over the storage space indicator in the My Data area and click "Request more?". Alternatively you can also email research-data@sussex.ac.uk to request more space.