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 Figshare 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. 

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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 Oxford University’s other data support services (such as ORA-DATA or Digisafe).

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

Our Figshare platform is highly suitable for publishing, preserving 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 Figshare remain “live”, able to be edited while still being easy to cite and share. Using the Sustainable Digital Scholarship service 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. 

We are happy to offer research data management and digital sustainability advice to any project at the University of Oxford.  

The Sustainable Digital Scholarship Figshare 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. We are actively discussing plans to expand the service out to the rest of the University and will update our service pages as and when this happens 

Access to the SDS-managed Figshare platform is open to any other non-Humanities new or existing project, but this will involve a cost for support fees and data hosting charges. Please get in touch for further information. Indicative costings can be found below, within the 'How much will the service cost?' FAQ.

The Humanities Division is committed to the Sustainable Digital Scholarship service as a long-term home for Oxford’s research data. All research data placed on the Figshare platform will be publically 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 Figshare is backed up in multiple different archiving services. In the unlikely event of the Figshare platform becoming inoperable, the research data will be preserved and the Sustainable Digital Scholarship service will be able to provide access elsewhere. 

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

No. Figshare works with the University’s Single Sign-On (SSO) system. To create your Figshare account and start using the platform, click the login button in the top right of the Oxford Figshare site. As of January 2021, we ask that only staff and academics affiliated with the Humanities Division create Figshare accounts.

If you are based outside the Humanities Division and have an interest in accessing the Figshare platform, please contact the team to discuss further.

Everyone using the Sustainable Digital Scholarship Figshare platform must adhere to our Terms of Use.

A short Introduction to Figshare video is available to watch, for a quick overview of what Figshare is and can do for your research.

We can provide an introduction to using the Figshare platform via virtual session with a member of the Sustainable Digital Scholarship team for any staff members of the project. 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 Figshare platform for Oxford University users. 

You can find end user guides on Figshare’s 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 integration of Figshare with Oxford’s Mosaic web content management system, to allow you to embed your research content directly in your project website. In the immediate term, your audience would have to visit the Oxford’s Figshare site to view your research. We can help you to use links and advice in order to guide users to the most relevant parts of your project on Figshare. Research data that is hosted on the Sustainable Digital Scholarship platform can be used to create visualisations on Mosaic using the Figshare API and custom development work. 

We are working with our service provider, Figshare, in order to add new features to the platform on a continual basis. We expect to improve functionality, especially around search and filtering, in 2021. The Figshare public development Roadmap describes planned improvements to the Figshare platform over the coming year, as requested by Figshare users including the Sustainable Digital Scholarship service team. 

Depositing data on the Figshare 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 ask projects yet to apply for funding, or ones from outside the Humanities Division, to contribute to the costs of running the Sustainable Digital Scholarship service. Our sample costs for research projects can be seen below. We aim to be highly competitive, and our fees only reflect our staff and hosting costs. Using the Figshare platform as a repository for your data avoids any costs for building or hosting your own database or data repository.   

One-off setup fee

Project complexity Staff days to implement Setup fee
Small/simple 2 £547.40  
Standard/medium 5 £1368.50  
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 0.5 terabytes)   £219.42  
Small (to 1TB)   £438.84  
Medium (1-5TB)   £1316.52  
Large (5-20TB)   £5485.50  

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

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

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