Terms of Use

Oxford University’s Sustainable Digital Scholarship service allows you, as members of the University, to store your research data/objects, and to share them with invited research collaborators. It also enables you to publish data for public access free of charge, and to sustain your research data for long-term storage and retrieval. The service is hosted on a platform provided by Figshare and hosted at https://figshare.sds.ox.ac.uk/  

As a member of the University using this service, you should read these terms of use, so that together we can minimise any reputational or financial risks to the University.  

This page is intended to serve as a short ‘plain English’ summary of the longer terms of use

Uploading your data

We trust that you, as users of the Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) platform, will apply your professional judgement and common sense by not uploading any data to the SDS that could get you or the University into legal or financial trouble. Such as: confidential data; or data that would break an agreement with a third-party agreement, e.g. it’s covered by a contract.

All content uploaded to the SDS platform is owned by the researcher and as such it is their responsibility to ensure that the necessary ethical, personal data and copyright permissions are in place to store and / or make public project data. This also includes the curation of data and consideration as to the nature of the content to be published. Researchers with data of a sensitive or potentially inflammatory nature, for example, portraying violence; deceased subjects or human remains; sexual content etc, need to consider how to display this on the SDS platform to minimise the risk of distress or offence to individuals who may view the content. Sensitivity warnings or embargos can be implemented if required, and the SDS team will support researchers in putting in place appropriate controls.  

In the event the SDS service receives a complaint regarding deposited material, the material in question will be removed from public access (but not removed from the SDS platform) and the complaint passed to the researcher to address. 

Personal data

You will all be aware of GDPR, and you may have gone through CUREC for your research project(s); therefore you know we all must take care when working with personal data. If you’re not sure whether you have personal data or what to do with it, please visit Research Support’s pages on ‘Responsibilities under GDPR’ for more information.  

The service, and the SDS platform provided by Figshare, have been assessed as a secure and appropriate solution for storing research data containing personal information, however, the SDS service expects users to stick to the GDPR provisions when storing, sharing & working with data on Figshare.   

Research Data is stored on a cloud-based system using Amazon Web Services based in the European Union and adhering to all requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (however, this doesn’t mean you are not obliged to meet your responsibilities under GDPR when using data on the service). 

Access to the SDS Platform is managed by user's Oxford Single Sign On (SSO) accounts and personal data shared with Figshare is limited to essential credentials for users to create and access accounts on the platform, which is consistent and in line with the relevant details in 'Section I) Data sharing with third parties' of the University of Oxford's Staff Privacy Policy.

Copyrighted data

You can freely upload content that is out of copyright to the Sustainable Digital Scholarship platform. You can only upload data containing copyrighted content that is not owned by Oxford University, its members, or its constituent bodies, if: 

  • permission to upload and/or publish the data has been explicitly granted by the copyright holder; or 
  • that content is licensed to be re-used in certain circumstances, and you are adhering to the conditions under which the copyright holder has granted publication rights; or  
  • that content is published under conditions of Fair-Dealing under UK law. 

If you are still unsure and want more information about copyright for research data, please visit Research Data Oxford for further guidance. The IT Learning Centre also offers a regular course titled Copyright in Digital Resources and Data, which you may find useful too. 

Takedown policy

We may be asked to remove any deposited material that violates these rules above. If we do this, we will follow a process so the material in question is removed from public access (but not removed from Figshare). This would then trigger an investigation process by the Sustainable Digital Scholarship team who will consult the user responsible for uploading the material and those making a violation claim to establish the facts, before a final decision is made.

User agreement

As with any service, you should know what you are agreeing to before you use it, and we recommend you take a few minutes to read the full terms of use