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Depositing data in the Oxford Research Archive (ORA): About

Purpose of this guide

Use this page to find out what sort of data ORA is (and isn't) designed for, and to discover more about its key components.

What is ORA?

ORA is the University of Oxford's digital catalogue and repository for research outputs, including research data, managed by the Bodleian Libraries. It offers a service to archive, preserve and enable the discovery and sharing of data produced by Oxford researchers.

Any type of digital research data – from across all academic disciplines – may be deposited in ORA, and it accepts any file format.

ORA's data component is aimed at researchers who:

  • wish to include an entry for their dataset in the University's catalogue of research data, irrespective of where the data is archived
  • need a repository to deposit research data – especially data that underpins publications, and data where the funding body requires archiving and preservation.

The data repository sits within the original Oxford Research Archive (ORA) for publications, so that data can be linked easily to – and browsed alongside – related publications.

What ORA is not...

ORA is not intended to store:

  • data still in active (live) use by research projects
  • data created exclusively outside Oxford
  • data that is confidential or sensitive (unless sufficiently anonymized)

It is also not intended to replace existing subject-based or national data repositories that you may prefer to use.

Key features of ORA's data component


  • Any file format is accepted (advice is available on the best file formats for long-term preservation)
  • Archival file formats are accepted (e.g. tar; zip; BagIt; ResearchObjects)
  • Multiple files can be zipped up before deposit


  • Datasets are assigned a unique Digital Object Identifier (DOI) on request for citation and attribution


  • Data are discoverable, citable and accessible online
  • ORA is crawled by Google and other search engines, maximising the global exposure of research
  • Rich descriptive metadata to accepted standards for discovery, description, reporting and funder compliance can be assigned to each dataset
  • Option to set an embargo period or opt-out of any online presence

Curation & user support

  • Dedicated helpdesk service available Monday-Friday, 9am – 5pm
  • ORA staff review all deposits and descriptive records (metadata) for legal and funder compliance before open release in ORA
  • Regular checks of file accessibility and data integrity


  • Two copies preserved on disc with a third copy on archival tape at separate locations
  • Bit-level preservation – data are retained in the same form as they were submitted
  • Commitment by the Bodleian Libraries to long-term preservation of datasets and descriptive records

What is research data?

The University of Oxford's Policy on the management of research data and records defines research data as 'recorded information (regardless of the form or media in which they may exist) necessary to support or validate a research project's observations, findings or outputs'.

Research Data Oxford

Research Data Oxford is the University of Oxford's main portal for advice about research data management.