What is the Sustainable Digital Scholarship Service?

Oxford produces some of the best research in the world, and the Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) service exists to safeguard the legacy of this research by ensuring that research outputs can remain findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable for decades to come. 

In addition to providing advice and guidance on digital sustainability, the SDS service can offer researchers and their projects a long-term solution for the storage, publication, and sustaining of research data, in the form of the Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) platform - an online, open access repository.

The SDS platform is free to use for pre-existing projects in the Humanities Division and is now also being offered for free, on a pilot basis, for pre-existing projects from the Social Sciences Division.

The SDS service is open to new grant-funded projects across the University, and further details on this can be found on our What the SDS Service Offers page.

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The SDS service offers free consultations to new or existing research projects, or to individual researchers, and can provide advice on how to publish the digital outputs of your research and keep your project’s digital legacy safe. 

The SDS also manages the Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) platform. Features of the SDS platform include: 

  • Public access to your research, organised in any structure you choose. 
  • Support for all file formats, with the ability to view most in browser including images, time-based media, .XML (including TEI). Further information on the file types supported is available here.
  • Custom metadata and file tagging tailored to your project’s needs. 
  • Search and filtering to enable users to easily find your research. 
  • Powerful sharing and citation tools to increase the impact and reach of your research. 
  • Built-in analytics to track the impact of your research. 
  • A system which meets the highest Information Security standards (ISO27001). 
  • Robust and resilient technically, ensuring multiple copies and appropriate back-ups are created of data stored. 
  • The platform conforms to the latest accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.1). 
  • Simple interface for researchers, with easy account creation and access via your Oxford Single Sign On service. 
  • A permanent location for each record, stored with a versioned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for easy citation and attribution. 
  • Long-term hosting of research data to fulfil funding bodies’ requirements. 
  • Easy collaboration with researchers within or outside the University. 
  • Ability to limit access to your research data to chosen collaborators, other Oxford users, or with time-based embargoes.  

See our breakdown of the SDS platform for new and existing projects, and individual researchers, or for a general overview, have a look at the videos below: 


Consultation with the Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) service is free. We’re happy to offer advice on your options for how and where to publish and store the digital outputs of your research, as well as key considerations on how to structure your research.

Depositing data on the SDS platform is free for existing projects within the Humanities Division. If you have completed the funded stage of your project, or are currently working within the funding period, we are willing to host and migrate your data for free. 

We are also accepting a number of pre-existing projects from the Social Sciences Division onto the SDS platform on a pilot basis, at no cost to faculties or projects.

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 (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 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.


See our description of what the Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) service offers and our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Contact us:

  • For a free consultation about digital sustainability and your options for keeping your digital legacy safe. 
  • To ask about the Sustainable Digital Scholarship platform and how we can help you to use it
  • To answer any questions you may have about digital sustainability at Oxford University.