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Publish your research data


March 20, 2020 update: While the physical SFU Libraries are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 measures, we are happy to continue to support you with any research data management questions remotely. Please feel free to contact us by email at during this time, and we can set up a meeting via video conferencing or telephone.


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:

Radar: the SFU research data repository

Radar is Simon Fraser University's research data repository, containing data collections created by SFU researchers. Radar supports data curation activities including long term archiving and access. 

As is typical for most data repositories, there is no rights transfer of any kind involved in depositing data with SFU Library. You retain full ownership of your dataset and can request to have it removed from our repository at any time you want.

For more information about Radar, see these frequently asked questions.

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.

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.

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.


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.