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. 

The SDS service provides researchers and their projects with a long-term solution for the storage, publication, and preservation of research data, using the Sustainable Digital Scholarship platform, provided by our partner Figshare. 

Our data repository is open and free to use for pre-existing projects in the Humanities Division and is 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 Sustainable Digital Scholarship service offers free consultations to new or existing research projects, or to individual researchers. We can advise on how to publish the digital outputs of your research and keep your project’s digital legacy safe. 

Features of the Figshare Sustainable Digital Scholarship 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 detailed information 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 preservation 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.

Consultation with the Sustainable Digital Scholarship team 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 Figshare 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 Figshare 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 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 & complex/custom build Estimate 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.


See our description of what the Sustainable Digital Scholarship 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.