Publish your research data

Canadian funding agencies and research institutions will soon enact policies requiring researchers to deposit their data, following established protocols that already exist in other countries. Increasing numbers of journal publishers are also requiring research data that supports publications to be shared by depositing with openly accessible online repositories, whether institution- or discipline-specific. 

As a researcher, you have several options for preserving your research data by depositing it in an online repository. 

Publishing options

Publishing research data involves making the data gathered as part of a research project available to the public, often accompanying published research (such as a research article in an academic journal).

In addition, several peer-reviewed article submission types or entire journals are devoted solely to the description and publication of datasets -- examples include the Data Notes in BMC Research Notes, the journals Earth System Science Data, Scientific Data, the Journal of Open Archaeology Data, and Data in Brief. The Web of Science database also gives an option to search for 'Data Papers' as a document type across all indexed publications.

To publish your data, make sure to:

The Canadian Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR)

The FRDR platform provides a centralized access point for Canadian research data. Developed through a collaboration between Portage, Compute Canada, and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the FRDR platform provides data ingestion, curation, and preservation services.

The platform's federated search tool provides a focal point to discover and access Canadian research data, while the range of services provided by FRDR helps researchers store and manage their data, preserve their research for future use, and comply with institutional and funding agency data management requirements.

Other recognized and trusted data repositories

Depending on the convention for your discipline, you may want to deposit your data in a discipline-specific repository. Most granting agency requirements stipulate the use of an openly accessible data repository, so make sure you use one that satisfies the policy requirements.

The registry from DataCite provides searchable discovery and access to discipline-specific data repositories, enabling researchers to identify platforms for data curation and access that best meets the needs of their area of study. Use this service to get a sense of the kinds of data repository options available that specialize in your research area.

Other well-regarded and recognized data repositories include:  

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

The preeminent North American Social Science data repository, ICPSR primarily accepts tabular data formats from the social sciences. All deposited files are manually reviewed for errors in the data. ICPSR is supported by a subscription model, and SFU Library is a member of this consortium.


Developed by OpenAIRE in Europe, Zenodo is an open-access data repository for various subject areas, and includes both datasets as well as software and code.


Dryad is an openly accessible research data repository that typically accepts data from the natural and biological sciences.

Licensing research data

When you publish your research data online, it is important to select an appropriate license for its use. The Copyright Office at SFU Library provides guidance on dataset copyright and licensing using Creative Commons tools. In addition, the following resources provide other options. 

Open Data Commons Licenses
Discussion of open data commons licenses.

A guide to copyright - Government of Canada
A Canadian-specific guide to copyright law.

Research Data Rights Management Guide - Australian Research Data Commons
Information about data rights information and licenses.