About Duke's Research Data Repository

The Duke Research Data Repository (RDR) is a service of the Duke University Libraries. Our mission is to curate, publish, and archive Duke digital research data from any discipline. We provide long-term public access to support research transparency, reproducibility and to foster new discoveries. Our service is designed to help researchers share their data ethically and to meet the FAIR Guiding Principles (i.e., Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) (Wilkinson, et al., 2016).

How can we help?

Are you ready to submit?

Share your data with the world with a digital object identifer (DOI) The data do not contain any sensitive or restricted information
Increase your reach and impact through data citations The data are in a final, publication-ready form
Prepare and curate your data for open access The data have been prepared following our submission guidelines
Protect your work's future by archiving and preserving your data  You understand your choices and responsibilities as a depositor

Want to learn more?

Collections Policy

Who can deposit materials?

Data deposit is open to all members of the Duke Community for their research data with a valid netid.

What types of materials can they deposit?

Research data are the original sources or materials (born digital or converted to digital) that were created or gathered in the process of your research. They serve as the foundation from which you draw conclusions and produce results/findings (test hypotheses, study trends, provide evidence, refute claims). They may be numeric or qualitative, structured or unstructured. Among many possible forms, data may take the form of notebooks, statistical or spatial data tables, audio or visual recordings, photographs or models. The end-results/findings of your research such as monographs, articles, white papers, or presentations are not considered research data.

  • Data related to the teaching and research mission of Duke University including data linked to a publication, research project, and/or class
  • Supplementary software code and documentation used to provide context for the data

What types of materials are out of scope for this area?

  • Data for which the depositor cannot reasonably assert a license governing usage and access to the data.
  • Data that contain sensitive or confidential information (i.e., personally identifiable information, protected health information, export-controlled information, etc.)
  • Data that do not include a minimal level of description necessary for the operation of the RDR.
  • Dynamic data (continuously updated data) are out of scope, however, the RDR will consider archiving snapshots and significant versions of these types of data.

If your data are out of scope for the RDR, we are happy to help you identify an appropriate repository, contact us at datamanagement@duke.edu

Other expectations

The Duke Faculty Handbook mandates that:

"Research records should be archived for a minimum of five years after final reporting or publication of a project (or longer if required by an external sponsor, law, rule or regulation)."

Deposit in the RDR will fulfill the terms of the Duke Faculty Handbook. Additionally, deposit will fulfill many of the data sharing requirements as set forth in funder and journal data sharing mandates.

Data Deposit Agreement

What you agree to:

By depositing this Content ("Content") in the Duke Research Data Repository ("RDR"), you agree that you are solely responsible for any consequences of uploading this Content to the RDR and making it publicly available, and you represent and warrant that:

  • You are either the sole creator and the owner of the copyrights and all other rights in the Content; or, if not the sole creator, you have the right to deposit the Content in an archive such as the RDR either based on the rightsholder’s express permission or as permitted by law. Additionally, you agree that the Content does not infringe the copyrights or other intellectual property rights of someone else, is not defamatory, and does not violate any laws or another's rights of privacy or publicity.
  • You agree to provide your data under one of the standardized licenses identified in the RDR Licensing Policy.
  • The Content contains no restricted, private, confidential, or otherwise protected data or information that should not be publicly shared, and that the deposit and sharing of this Content complies with any applicable IRB protocol.
  • The Content is in a final state and is not subject to revisions or updates.
  • Nothing in the Content contains any software viruses or computer codes, files, or programs capable of allowing unauthorized access or disrupting, damaging, limiting or interfering with the proper functioning of the RDR or other users' software, hardware, or telecommunications equipment.

What we agree to:

You understand that the RDR will do its best to provide long-term access to your Content. The RDR will, consistent with the standardized license selected by you, provide access, reproduce, distribute and publicly display the Content, in whole or in part, in order to secure, preserve and make it publicly available. RDR may also migrate the Content to other media or formats, or make other copies to preserve its public access.

While RDR will do its best to provide long-term access to deposited Content, RDR makes no promises or warranties that this Content will be perpetually or consistently preserved or accessible. In addition, RDR reserves the right to remove Content under the terms of its deaccession policy for reasons such as deposits made in conflict with terms of this license, in response to a valid DMCA notice, or in response to a valid court order compelling the removal of such Content.

Acceptable Use Policy

What users of files agree to:

  • You will not attempt to identify any individuals included in the data or otherwise infringe the privacy or confidentiality rights of individuals discovered inadvertently or intentionally in the data
  • If you should identify anyone unintentionally, you will contact the RDR at datamanagement@duke.edu
  • You will abide by the Creative Commons license conditions applied to the data (if any).
  • You will properly cite the data by including a data citation in any publication or presentation resulting from use of the data.

Content within the files are governed by the RDR Data Deposit Agreement. Data are offered with no warranty or claim of fitness for any purpose. In no event shall Duke University be liable for any actual, incidental or consequential damages arising from use of these files.

If you discover that a link is broken or that you are not able to download the files you need, please contact datamanagement@duke.edu.

Licensing Policy

A license helps secondary users understand how they can or cannot use your data. The default waiver suggested for research data deposited within the Duke Research Data Repository is a CC0 public domain dedication. The CC0 waiver reduces many legal and technical obstacles to data reuse that can arise from applying other licenses (such as attribution stacking). Since in many jurisdictions data may not be copyrightable, the CC0 waiver also removes legal questions related to the copyright status of datasets. While the CC0 waiver does not require attribution, growing community and data citation norms as well as the Acceptable Use Policy create an expectation that users will properly cite data in the same manner they would any other form of scholarly communication.

If releasing your data into the public domain is not appropriate, data depositors may elect to apply another Creative Commons license to their data. We encourage data depositors to carefully consider both their rights to assign a license to the data as well as what license might be required by other stakeholders including funders and journals. If you have questions about licensing your data, please contact datamanagement@duke.edu or the Duke Libraries Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communications (scholarworks@duke.edu).

Storage Policy

The Duke Research Data Repository provides 300 GB of preservation storage per deposit for Duke researchers (defined as graduate, post-doctoral, research staff, and faculty) at no cost. For larger datasets, please contact us to discuss the feasibility for the RDR to accept your deposit based upon the scope and scale of your data. Additional preservation costs may also be assessed based upon the size of the submission. 

For projects projects planning for data preservation and storage for grant applications, please contact us at datamanagement@duke.edu for planning and tracking purposes. We can also project you with boilerplate language or Letters of Support as appropriate

Preservation Policy

The Duke University Libraries has outlined its commitment to the long-term preservation and persistent access to the University's digital assets curated in the RDR within the DUL Preservation Policy. The primary preservation strategies include bit-level preservation including fixity checking and version control, multiple disparate copies, file formats and obsolescence management, and information security. To learn more, consult the complete Preservation Policy.

Persistent Identifiers

Persistent identifiers are long-lasting references to a document, file, web page, or other object, usually digital. Typically, these references may be entered into a web browser and will resolve to the specified resource. All objects in the Research Data Repository are assigned an Archival Resource Key (ARK) on ingest, which will serve as the basis for a persistent link to each object in the data package. Additionally, datasets will be assigned a Digital Object Identifier at the level of the complete data package, which will be included in the dataset citation and will provide persistent access to the data.


The purpose of the Duke Research Data Repository is to allow open, immediate access to Duke research data. It is understood that there are times when immediate access may need to be delayed. To meet this need, we allow depositors to delay publication (embargo) of a full dataset (all data and documentation) for up to one year from time of deposit. During the embargo period, a descriptive metadata record for the dataset will be made publicly discoverable in the repository that includes a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and the date on which the files will be made available. Contact datamanagement@duke.edu if you need to apply an embargo to a dataset.


As outlined within the Data Deposit Agreement, data producers should make every attempt to ensure that data deposited is in its final publication-ready state. However, we also understand that errors may be discovered post-publication or additional data or documentation files may need to be added. In these cases, the RDR staff can help you create a new version of your dataset. We will continue to provide access to the previous version of all files to ensure persistent access to previously published materials (if you need to permanently remove files, see deaccessioning below). Versioning should not be used as a method to add files to a collection from different waves of a study or as a method to preserve data during the active research phase of a project. If you foresee your dataset evolving over time then consider a "release cycle" for your data. If you need to version content already within the repository or have questions about creating a plan for publishing dynamic data, contact datamanagement@duke.edu.


The mission of the Duke Research Data Repository is to ensure the long-term integrity and accessibility of its contents. If for some legal or ethical reason (such as discovering the inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information) you need to permanently remove files, please reference our Deaccession and DMCA Takedown Policy and complete the Deaccession Request Form. When files are removed from the repository a "tombstone" metadata page will remain providing a provenance record for the persistent identifier (DOI).