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Depositing data + Research Data Repository Radar: Research data management services

Depositing data

While Canadian funders do not currently require researchers to deposit their data, many international funders do and Canada is expected to follow suit shortly.

There are several options for depositing your research data including the SFU Library's Research Data Repository Radar as well as several discipline-specific repositories.

SFU Library's Research Data Repository: Radar

SFU's Research Data Repository Radar houses complete datasets or other research objects created by SFU faculty and graduate students, for preservation, publication, and sharing purposes.

Radar, SFU Library's Research Data Repository currently accepts most:

  • audio
  • video
  • image
  • tabular data
  • document formats.

When data is deposited, it is automatically transformed into a preservation-friendly copy.

Materials can also be immediately made available exactly as they are deposited. SFU Librarians may occasionally review the metadata of deposited files for suitability, but we do not inspect the files themselves prior to deposit, and do not intend to make claims about the veracity of the data itself beyond the intentions of the depositor.

Preservation and indexing of research objects in Radar is provided as a free service to the SFU community, and will be exposed by the Library Catalogue and be indexed by Google.

As a researcher,  you decide whether to restrict access to your data; however, the default setting is to allow public access. The SFU Library requests, at a minimum, that the metadata be public.

Radar is backed by Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) metadata (DDI-C 2.5), which can be crawled or extracted programmatically by external users using OAI-PMH, and is built on the Islandora repository platform.

Radar vs. Summit

Summit is Simon Fraser University's Open Access Repository containing SFU theses, research reports, journal articles, digital images, book chapters and more. Choose Summit when you want to deposit content that is accessible to everyone and is the end product of your research.

Choose Radar when you want to deposit finished research data outputs that are not journal articles, book chapters, research reports,  etc. but help inform the publication of these items.

Other popular and trusted data repositories

Depending on the convention for your discipline, you may want to deposit your data in a discipline-specific repository; if required to do so by a grant, it's likely that your data only needs one home, which may not necessarily be at your home institution.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR):

  • Preeminent North American Social Science data respository.
  • Mostly accepts tabular data formats from the social sciences.
  • By comparison to Radar, ICPSR employs a relatively "curation-heavy" model; all deposited files are manually reviewed by curators to check for erroneous values or inconsistent labeling. Accordingly, access to ICPSR is not free, and is instead supported by a subscription model. SFU Library is a member of ICPSR.


  • Fee based service ($600 US for self-deposit) ensuring your data will be preserved as-is and available to data users at no cost for a minimum of ten years.
  • OpenICPSR also offers premium services for professional curation including data normalization and review.

Find other data repositories

  • Databib: list of research data repositories
  • registry of Research Data Repositories
    • In 2015, these two entities will merge services under the the name.