ReShare help guidance


  1. Prepare research data for ReShare
  2. Deposit data in ReShare
  3. Deposit dataset for data paper
  4. Access ReShare data
  5. Further guidance

1. Prepare research data for ReShare

Whilst your research is ongoing you can prepare your data for future deposit and sharing:

  • capture information and documentation (metadata) during the data collection process that will allow understanding of your data, such as variable descriptions, survey questions, data collection methodology and information
  • check, validate and clean your data
  • ensure you are organising, naming and versioning data files meaningfully
  • if data contain personal or confidential information, prepare to gain participant consent to share data with future researchers and create where possible an anonymised version

For detailed advice on data management in preparation for data sharing, see our Manage data guidance.

In preparation for depositing research data in the ReShare repository:

  • group your data files in zip bundles (max 2gb per zip) according to their content or file format, to make upload and download easier, e.g. a zip bundle of interview transcripts, a zip bundle of audio files
  • for large collections, keep a folder structure for the files in your zip bundle
  • check our recommended file formats before uploading files
  • check our recommended transcription format for qualitative textual data
  • give files meaningful names that reflect the file content, avoiding spaces and special characters
  • check that data files contain no disclosive information; to anonymise:
    • remove names or use pseudonyms
    • remove addresses and detailed location, change postcode to postal district
    • change date of birth to year
    • remove names and disclosive info from ‘file properties’, e.g. using MS Word Document Inspector
    • beware of hidden tracked changes in text or table files
  • create a ReadMe file (txt format) for your data collection (example dataset with good ReadMe file), with:
    • for each file a short description of its content
    • any relationships between the data files
    • for tabular data, definitions of column headings and row labels, data codes (including missing data) and measurement units (or embed those in the tabular file)
    • for textual data, a data list of all interviews, focus groups, etc. (example dataset with good data list)
  • prepare other essential documentation to upload with your data:
    • clear variable descriptions and code labels in each data file
    • questionnaire form or data dictionary for surveys
    • topics and question list for interviews
    • consent form and information sheet used
    • methods description
    • PDF of website materials

Note that ReShare links to research outputs on the RCUK Gateway to Research, so any outputs submitted to ResearchFish should not be submitted to ReShare.

2. Deposit data in ReShare

Follow this step-by-step guide to deposit a data collection with ReShare. Help information for each metadata element is available via the question mark alongside the element.

  1. Watch the video
    How to deposit data into the ReShare repository
  2. Prepare your data files
    according to the guidelines above
  3. Register with the UK Data Service
    via our registration process
  4. Log in to ReShare
    via UK Access Management Federation, where you select your institution and use your institutional username and password; if your institution is not part of UK Access Management Federation, you will select the 'UK Data Archive' as your organisation when you log in, with your UK Data Service credentials
  5. Create and edit your data collections
    The My data page lists all your existing ReShare data collections (part completed, under review or published); the icons next to each data collection in the list allow you to:
    • View:review a data collection
    • Edit:resume editing a deposit in progress
    • Delete:remove a data collection from your workspace and discard it
  6. Create a new data collection
    to start a new deposit
  7. Terms and conditions
    Read and agree to the ReShare terms and conditions of data deposit and data use, explained in detail in the legal section
  8. Grant details
    Submit your RCUK grant number to retrieve project information if your data result from a funded research project (ESRC or other RCUK funder); project information is pulled in from the Research Councils UK Gateway to Research.
  9. People
    Provide information about the people involved in the creation of this data collection; some fields will be prefilled based on the retrieved grant information, but can be edited; creators will be the authors in the citation; an ORCID can be provided for each person
  10. Data collection
    Provide information that describes and categorises your data collection, making sure that the data description (abstract) and data collection method contain much detail. As explanation for some elements:
    • Geographical area: be precise when describing the area and avoid ambiguous entries, for example “Boroughs of Greater London” is good, “Portland” ambiguous due to a lack of context (Portland, Oregon; Portland, Maine; or Portland, Dorset, UK?); you may also include details of spatial resolution in this field, include the unit of measure.
    • Bounding area: the four coordinates (west, east, north, south) that bound or geographically enclose the geographical area of your data collection (like placing a square frame over the area in which your data was collected, whether an entire country or a block of houses); the four coordinate values can be generated with OpenStreetMap following the guidelines below.
    • Data sourcing, processing and preparation describes how the data has been transformed after data collection and prior to deposit with ReShare, for example the conversion of data files to an alternative file format, the removal of particular identifying text or variables, or the unpacking of a database into unlinked tables.
    • Notes on access provides information for the repository administrator and/or users on the need for specific access conditions, for example why you have specified a particular level of access or embargo period for a file.
  11. Upload data files
    • upload collections of less than 5 data files as individual files
    • group collections with more data files into zip bundles, grouped according to content or format (e.g. images / videos / transcripts)
    • add file-level information for each uploaded file or zip bundle: description and content type
  12. Upload documentation
    • include a ReadMe file for your data collection, as described in the preparation guidelines above
    • upload a questionnaire form or data dictionary for survey data
    • upload interview schedules and questions lists for interview data
    • include essential methods descriptions to understand how your data were collected
    • include consent forms and information sheets
    • add file-level information for each uploaded file or zip bundle: description and content type
  13. Access and licences
    Select the access conditions for each file or zip bundle:
    • Anyone (open data): anyone can download this file
    • Registered users only (safeguarded data): only users registered with the UK Data Service can download this file
    • Closed (permission access): only users requesting your explicit permission can access this file; only to be selected when there are valid reasons to do so, for example based on the sensitive nature of data
    • All documentation files should be open access
    • Data files can be embargoed for up to 12 months
  14. Select a licence for each file or zip bundle:
    • Creative Commons for open data
      • Attribution Share Alike (CC BY-SA)
      • Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (CC BY-NC-SA)
    • UK Data Service End User Licence for safeguarded data
  15. Deposit your data collection
    when it is complete and you have uploaded all data and documentation files; UK Data Service staff will review your data collection before publishing data to the live system, for:
    • disclosure risks
    • copyright breaches
    • validity of file formats
    • level of documentation
    You may be contacted if there are any problems with your deposit; otherwise, you will receive email notification when your collection goes live.

If you need to make changes to a submitted data collection or create a new version, please contact us.

3. Deposit dataset for data paper

Reshare is a recommended data repository for datasets described in a data paper or data descriptor in Scientific Data, Research Data Journal and other data journals. We enable peer review of the dataset whilst the paper and dataset are under review.

Follow our standard procedures to deposit data in ReShare. In addition:

  • indicate that your dataset is linked to a peer-reviewed data paper in the ‘Notes on access’ field, including the journal name
  • once you have deposited your dataset for review we will send you a data citation with unique identifier (DOI) to include in your data paper or data descriptor
  • we will liaise with the data journal to facilitate peer review

Read a blog post about the process.

4. Access ReShare data

Access to datasets depends on the access level that the depositor has set for each file. In general documentation files are openly accessible to all users and can be downloaded without registration. For data files three access levels exists:

  • open data are accessible to any user without registration
  • safeguarded data are accessible only to users registered with the UK Data Service; you will automatically be directed to the login / registration page when downloading such file
  • closed access data requires specific authorisation from the data owner (depositor) to release the data to a user; follow these steps to request access:
    1. email the contact person for the data collection to get written permission, explaining how you want to use the data collection
    2. register with the UK Data Service
    3. submit your access request via the UK Data Service helpdesk, including the data collection number
    4. after we contact you please forward the permission email/letter to us
    5. we will send you the data files using the Essex ZendTo service

5. Further guidance

For further help using ReShare, please contact us.

Generate four bounding box coordinates with OpenStreetMap

  • navigate to the OpenStreetMap main page where you find the default view of a map window with various menus and buttons around it
  • adjust your view (drag or use the search box) on the map so that it covers at least the full geographical extent of your data collection
  • at the top left of the interface are three text buttons, the furthest right of which is Export; select this and you see four values arranged in a rough diamond shape to the left of the map
  • these are your latitude and longitude values representing the current view in the map window, clockwise starting from the top they are North latitude, East longitude, South latitude, West longitude
  • Underneath the four values you can 'Manually select a different area' using the resizeable box in the map window, you can make fine adjustments to the bounding area which are then reflected in the latitude and longitude values
  • when the box accurately reflects your data collection, you can copy and paste the values into your ReShare data collection description, ensuring that each one corresponds with the correct box in the ReShare deposit form

6. What is ReShare?

Sharing your data is an opportunity to increase the impact of your research. Data collections deposited with ReShare are visible in the UK Data Service's Discover catalogue, greatly increasing their findability and allowing for access and reuse. We give each data collection a persistent identifier in the form of a DataCite Digital Object Identifier (DOI). This DOI uniquely identifies the particular data collection, and ensures that it will remain findable when cited.

As a researcher, there are many reasons to share your research data:

  • where data underpins published research, and a publisher, reviewer or reader expects it be accessible
  • where a funder requires you to preserve and share data created during a funded research project
  • to comply with legal requirements to securely retain research data after a project ends
  • to provide a resource for teaching and learning