Part 2: Questions about data repositories

18. How do I find a suitable data repository?

In the absence of specific data repository recommendations from their target journal, authors in science disciplines should consult our list of research data repositories (derived from the journal Scientific Data’s approved list of repositories). Authors in arts and humanities disciplines should consult the Registry of Research Data Repositories, For life science researchers, Biosharing lists  suitable repositories. Researchers in all disciplines can also consider general repositories - that accept all types of research data - such as figshare and Dryad. Alternatively, researchers can contact our helpdesk for assistance.

19. What are the benefits of using data repositories?

Data repositories are generally the preferred way to share research data. Data repositories make data more accessible and discoverable than sharing data via supplementary information files and can enable searching across similar datasets. Repositories also typically provide standardised ways of structuring and identifying data, and support domain-specific data reporting standards.

20. What makes a good data repository?

Data repositories for data supporting peer-reviewed publications generally should:
i. Ensure long-term persistence and preservation of datasets
ii. Be recognized by a research community or research institution
iii. Provide deposited datasets with stable and persistent identifiers, such as Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)
iv. Allow access to data without unnecessary restrictions
v. Provide a clear license or terms of use for deposited datasets

21. What should I do if my preferred data repository is not listed by Springer Nature?

There are growing numbers of repositories for research data and it’s possible an author’s or editor’s preferred repository is not listed by Springer Nature, Biosharing or This need not be a cause for concern. In such cases, we encourage:
i. Repository managers to investigate listing repositories with in the first instance (see FAQ 16) and, for those that meet the criteria, applying for listing with Scientific Data.
ii. Authors to consider depositing a copy of their dataset(s) in a general repository such as figshare or their institutional repository where applicable.

22. Can institutional repositories be used for data?

Authors may submit to Springer Nature publications and host their data in their institutional or project specific repository. Institutional repositories should be able to provide DataCite DOIs for hosted data, and share data under open terms of use. However, we do not list institutional or project specific repositories in our Recommended Repositories list, due to the restrictions on who can submit data to them (that is, authors from that institution/project).

23. How much does data deposit in repositories cost and who pays?

This depends on the repository but many data repositories do not charge a fee to depositors.

24. What about copyright and licenses for deposited data?

Where data are held in repositories, this will be guided by the license terms of the repository. In general, where data are freely available online, a license or legal tool that enables the maximum potential for reuse, such as with the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication waiver, is preferred. For more information, BioMed Central hosts a set of FAQs dedicated to open licensing of research data. Supplementary information files (additional files) published across Springer Nature’s journals are freely available online including in our subscription access journals. Springer Nature does not claim intellectual property rights in submitted datasets.