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

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We are happy to offer advice on fulfilling the sustainability requirements of your project to meet the expectations of funding bodies and can provide input into your data management plan (DMP) specific to the role of the SDS Service in maintaining your data. 

Research Data Oxford (RDO) offers advice and support for researchers who need help with their data management plans which can be accessed here. In addition, DMPonline is a free, web-based tool that you can use to build a data management plan. 

No. We offer support tailored to the particular needs of your project. We can help you explore other University of Oxford data management options (such as ORA or Digisafe) if the SDS service is not the best fit for your data.

Yes. The SDS service is setup as a Small Research Facility (SRF) at the University and can provide quotations for using the SDS Platform.

We can provide transparent costings that can be included in external and internal bids (including the John Fell Fund). Many funders have requirements surrounding how data should be maintained during and after the project: Research Data Oxford have further information on this.

If you are planning a research project and grant application, please get in touch to discuss your requirements and for further information.

Yes. The SDS service, its history and rise to success has been referenced in a selection of academic papers and reports. Below is a list of works authored by the SDS team or colleagues closely associated with SDS. For further information about works authored by individual members of the team, please check out their ORCID profiles of the Meet the Team section of our website.

  • Damon Strange, Megan Gooch & Alwyn Collinson (2023) Equality, findability, sustainability: the challenges and rewards of open digital humanities data, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, DOI: 10.1080/14794713.2023.2206286

The Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) Platform

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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. The SDS Platform facilitates collaboration with researchers employed by the University of Oxford as well as external researchers. 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 generally more cost effective than creating and hosting a custom-built database to store and publish your research outputs. After an initial up-front payment, use of the service will not incur any additional ongoing costs. It will also require less ongoing work from you and your project team to keep your 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. Further information about creating and managing your account are available in our self-help video

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 or digital sustainability advice to any researcher at the University of Oxford.

We can discuss how SDS might be able to support you/your project and – if the SDS platform is an appropriate solution – provide a quote for you to include in your grant application budget. In some circumstances, projects may be exempt from charge.  

For new research projects currently being planned, and pre-application; we welcome the opportunity to discuss how we could support you and your research data management. The SDS service is setup as a Small Research Facility (SRF) and can be costed into new grant applications. 

So, whether you are preparing a new grant application, or have an existing project please get in touch for a free consultation to discuss your requirements.


The SDS platform provides a sustainable, enduring home for Oxford's research data, ensuring it remains publicly accessible at the end of its 'active' phase (the phase during which the 'hot' data is still being collected, analysed and edited on a regular basis) meeting funder requirements. 

We specialise in supporting researchers to curate and publish their digital research outputs in the ‘semi-active’ or ‘warm’ phase: when your data are no longer being collected and analysed on a daily basis, but have entered a phase where only occasional minor edits, updates and additions are being made. 

Once a research project has ended, or is nearing its conclusion, your data must be archived in a responsible way. Oxford researchers should deposit their final datasets in the Oxford Research Archive (ORA) when it has reached the ‘Archival’ or ‘Cold’ phase of the Research Data Management lifecycle, when data are unlikely to be updated in the future, and can be accessibly archived in perpetuity. The SDS Team monitor research projects and if they are no longer in active use we will contact you as the Data Owner or your nominated Data Steward to discuss whether the data is ready to be archived into ORA. We will never archive data without consultation and agreement from you or your nominated Data Steward. 

Data deposited 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. 

You can create an account for free using your Single Sign-On by visiting to the SDS Platform and clicking ‘Log In’ at the top right of the page. This free account is suitable for very simple projects.  

If you need more support, we can provide an initial free consultation where we can assess what help you might need to migrate your data onto the SDS Platform. Based on these discussions we will be able to provide you with a quote for inclusion in your grant application. Some projects may be exempt from fees. 

Our fees are a flat rate per day and reflect our staff and hosting costs. Using the SDS Platform as a repository for your data avoids any costs for building, hosting or future maintenance of a bespoke database or data repository.    

For an accurate quote for your research project, please get in touch with us or contact your research facilitator.

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 maintain a library of self-help videos and other resources, both to help you make the most of the SDS platform, and to provide a range of digital sustainability tips and tricks. 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.

Research items hosted on the SDS platform can be directly embedded into a Mosaic webpage using our bespoke, easy-to-use widget. View our self-help video for more information: 

Besides this feature, 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 also be used to create visualisations on Mosaic and other web hosting platforms using the Figshare API and custom development work. We work closely with the Digital Scholarship @ Oxford team to develop solutions around this. 

If you do not currently have a Mosaic site for your project and are interested in creating one, you can submit a request for a project website via the Mosaic website

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 SDS 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.