Frequently Asked Questions

Please contact us if you have questions that are not answered below. You may also find it useful to view the Figshare Knowledge Portal for particular answers on the functionality of the SDS platform. The Research Data Oxford site has more information about data management in general, and the wider range of data management services available at the University of Oxford. 

The Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) Service

Expand All

We are happy to offer suggestions for how to fulfil the sustainability requirements of your project and to meet the expectations of funding bodies.

We have also put together some example text for inclusion in grant applications, which contains key information about the SDS platform. 

No. We offer support tailored to the particular needs of your project. We’ll help you find out if it’s more appropriate for you to use one of the University of Oxford’s other data support services (such as ORA-DATA or Digisafe).

The Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) Platform

Expand All

The SDS platform is highly suitable for publishing, sustaining and collaborating on research data, especially on projects that expect to be adding or editing data into the future. Unlike a data archive, files placed on the SDS platform remain “live”, able to be edited while still being easy to cite and share.

Using the SDS platform is also likely to be cheaper than creating and hosting a custom-built database to store and publish your research outputs. It will also require less ongoing work from you and your project team to keep that data collection accessible and functioning. 

The SDS platform works with the University’s Single Sign-On (SSO) system.

To create your account and start using the SDS platform, simply click the login button in the top right of the screen when viewing the SDS platform.

Currently, we ask that only staff and academics affiliated with the Humanities Division and Social Sciences Division create accounts to use the SDS platform.

If you are based outside the Humanities Division or Social Sciences Division and have an interest in accessing the SDS platform, please contact the SDS service to discuss further.

Please note that everyone using the SDS platform must adhere to our Terms of Use.

The SDS service is happy to offer research data management and digital sustainability advice to any project at the University of Oxford.

The SDS platform is currently being funded solely by the Humanities Division, and as such available for free of charge to existing or past projects in the Humanities Division. In addition to this, we are also currently offering access to the platform for free, on a pilot basis, to pre-existing projects from the Social Sciences Division.

Access to the SDS platform is open to any other non-Humanities new or existing project, however, this will involve a cost for support fees and data hosting charges.

Please get in touch for further information.

The Humanities Division is committed to the SDS platform as a long-term home for Oxford’s research data. All research data placed on the SDS platform will be publicly accessible long into the future, and as a minimum will give you the confidence that grant funder requirements of data availability will be met after the end of the project’s active phase.

Data placed on the SDS platform is backed up in multiple different archiving services. In the unlikely event of the SDS platform becoming inoperable, research data will be sustained, and the SDS service will be able to provide access elsewhere. 

All files placed on the SDS platform receive a unique versioned DOI and shareable URL that enables them to be accessed as long as they remain on the platform. 

Depositing data on the SDS platform is free for existing projects and researchers within the Humanities Division. If you have completed the funded stage of your project, or are currently working within the funding period, or simply wish to try out the platform as a Humanities member of staff, we may be able to host and migrate your data for free. 

We are currently offering access to the platform for free, on a pilot basis, to pre-existing projects from the Social Sciences Division.

We ask projects yet to apply for funding, or ones from outside the Humanities Division, to contribute to the costs of running the SDS service. We aim to be highly competitive, and our fees only reflect our staff and hosting costs. Using the SDS platform as a repository for your data avoids any costs for building or hosting your own database or data repository.   

Some example costs for research projects can be seen below. For an accurate quote for your research project, please get in touch with us or contact your research facilitator.

One-off setup fee

Project complexity Staff days to implement Setup fee
Small/simple 2 £561.22
Standard/medium 5 £1,403.05 
Large/custom build Available on request   Available on request  

Hosting costs per year of project funding  

Project data requirements   Annual hosting fee*
Very small (to 250GB)   £164.21  
Small (0.25-0.5TB)   £328.42  
Medium (0.5-1TB)   £656.84  
Large (1-5TB)   £1,642.10


*These hosting costs only apply for the project’s funded period; there is no charge to maintain projects on the SDS platform after your active research period is over.  

In the first instance, this short Introduction video will give you a brief overview of how to use the SDS platform.

The SDS service team is happy to provide researchers, and members of project teams, with an introduction to using the SDS platform via a virtual meeting. This introduction will cover how to add, edit and collaborate on data on the platform, and discuss tailoring the attributes and custom metadata you use to your project’s needs.

We also have recorded training videos for users and admins of the SDS platform for those based at the University of Oxford. 

The SDS platform is provided by Figshare, and you can find some very helpful end user guides on their help site. Some key topics include:

You can also find videos on Figshare's YouTube channel

The full playlist is available here.

Our medium-term goal is the integration of the SDS platform with Oxford’s Mosaic web content management system, which will enable you to embed your research content directly in your Mosaic project website. However, in the immediate, research content will need to be viewed via the SDS platform.

We are happy to provide you with guidance on how you might best use links to help users navigate as seamlessly as possible from your project website to the most relevant elements of your project on the SDS platform.

Research data that is hosted on the SDS platform can be used to create visualisations on Mosaic using the platform's API and custom development work. 

We are working with Figshare to add new features to the SDS platform on a continual basis. We expect to improve functionality, especially around search and filtering.

The Figshare public development Roadmap describes planned improvements over the coming year, as requested by users - including the Sustainable Digital Scholarship service team. 

No. All research data deposited in the SDS platform will be sustained and made accessible into the future, either on our SDS platform or on other future platforms. The fee paid by projects joining the platform help to both cover the costs of hosting your data, and maintain the platform for all the past projects deposited on it. 

The SDS platform is not a database, and projects that are structured for inclusion in relational databases may not be suitable for the platform. Although there are tools for searching and filtering data on the SDS platform, they are not currently as powerful as those in a custom-built database.