X Close

Research Data Management Blog


FAQs on UCL's Research Data Management


Once upon a time, UCL launched a research data repository…

By j.houghton, on 11 February 2020

Filled with a sense of excitement (and dare I say it) relief, we finally launched the UCL research data repository on 5 June 2019. This was – and continues to be – an open and free platform for UCL research staff and students to publish outputs of research including datasets, software, posters, presentations, models, photographs… just to name a few.

Benefits of using the UCL Research Data Repository

  • Secure long term data preservation and curation:10+ years
  • Storage: access and data sharingworldwide
  • Compliance:meets funders’ requirements for FAIR data
  • Multiple formats: supports almost all file types
  • Increased citations: published research data has its own DOI
  • Discoverability: enhances discovery and leads to new partnerships
  • Defines reuse: applies Creative Commons and other licences
  • Embargo: research outputs can be embargoedwhere necessary
  • Team collaboration: data can be added to defined project spaces.

Take a look at the UCL Repository FAQs for more hints and tips on using the Repository.

It’s time for some pictures and numbers

(Correct as of 3rd February 2020)

Over the past six months, we have had

  • 13,141 total views
  • We made 62 items publicly available

The award for most downloaded goes to…

1st Place: Griffiths, David; Boehm, Jan (2019): SynthCity Dataset – Complete. figshare. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.5522/04/8851658.v2

2nd Place: Quinn, Michael (2019): Writings on Political Economy Volume IV. Preliminaries and preliminary text. All text files (1-16) now uploaded.. figshare. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.5522/04/9897596.v2

3rd Place: Gibson, Adam; Tuckett, Tabitha (2019): Laparoscopy movie of pop-up flaps of de humanis corporis fabrica libri septem by Vesalius. figshare. Media. https://doi.org/10.5522/04/8224085.v1


Where do we go from here: Got any sensitive data?

Before we go any further, I need to clarify what is meant by ‘sensitive data’.

Essentially, we are referring to any kind of data which must be safeguarded by being kept to higher set of security standards… clearer now? Let me give you a few examples:

  • Take researchers studying endangered species, the geolocation information of these species may be classed as sensitive. This is because an individual could use this information to commit inadvertent or malicious acts potentially compromising the safety and security of these flora and fauna.
  • Or how about commercial data? These data could be classed as sensitive and in need of safeguarding – take supermarket loyalty cards, with the right technical wizardry, this dataset could be linked with others potentially risking an individual’s anonymity
  • Health data relating to living human persons (or anything else which could be subject to data protection legislation)…
  • Data relating to national security… the list is potentially endless!

So hopefully you can begin to see my point – ‘sensitive data’ very much depends on the research context and UCL staff and students will undoubtedly define ‘sensitive’ according to their own academic domain.


This is why phase 2 of the UCL Research Data Repository project is vital in helping UCL researchers to manage different kinds of data, across the research data lifecycle. Phase 2 focuses on requirements gathering so that we may gain a better understanding of the kind of infrastructure researchers need to store these data – at UCL – beyond the end of their research project. If anyone would like to take part in interviews, focus groups etc. please contact researchdatarepostiory@ucl.ac.uk to register your interest.

See you soon!

For more information

For support, please contact researchdatarepository@ucl.ac.uk or come to one of our regular drop-in sessions.


Leave a Reply