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DataShare: ISU's Open Research Data Repository

Iowa State University’s DataShare is an open access repository for sharing and publishing research data created by Iowa State University scholars and researchers.

DataShare FAQs


This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about ISU's DataShare. If you have a question that is not addressed on this page please email

Iowa State University's DataShare is a data repository that provides free and open access to research data produced by Iowa State. The repository is administered by the University Library in partnership with Office of the Vice President of Research and Information Technology.

DataShare accepts all forms of research data including tabular data (i.e. spreadsheets), source-code, images, videos, etc. as long as it meets the following criteria:

  1. The materials are products of research or scholarship associated with Iowa State University;
  2. The materials are factual (i.e. data) and not creative works such as manuscripts, articles, reports, research posters, and other creative works which are handled by Iowa State University Digital Repository, the Iowa State's open access document repository.
  3. The materials are accompanied by an appropriate level of documentation and description to enable reuse;
  4. The materials do not contain sensitive, proprietary, private, or personally identifiable information or other sharing and redistribution limitations.
  5. A completed Data Set Disclosure Form (DSDF) has been submitted and approved.

Additional constraints, such as size and volume, may also prevent materials from being deposited or shared through DataShare. Please contact our staff if you have questions or would like to verify that DataShare is the right place for your data.

Anyone can access the free and open data found on DataShare but only Iowa State University employees and students may submit data to DataShare.

Yes, DataShare meets or exceeds the current recommendations of nearly all publishers and journals. If you have concerns, or would like more information, please email

There are three main reasons to use Datashare:

  1. Your data is findable. Users can discover your data through Google, library searches, and through other platforms.
  2. Your data is stable and citable. All datasets in DataShare are assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which is a unique string of text and numbers that will link to your dataset no matter how many upgrades or server changes the repository goes through.
  3. Your data is curated. All data in DataShare is examined by a librarian before it's published. This step takes a little bit of extra time but it's worth it as it: librarians will help you correct errors and create documentation to ensure your data can be found, preserved, and reused.

There is currently no cost to deposit data with DataShare. As usages grows and technology changes, different cost models may be introduced to support new services.

As all data published on DataShare is open access there is no fee to access or download the data.

Before including DataShare in your data management plan (DMP) please contact the University Library.

DataShare can handle many different file types and formats but not all data can or should be shared on the DataShare platform. The library can provide template language describing DataShare for your proposal if it is determined that your data can be deposited into DataShare system.

Please include the following information when inquiring about including DataShare in your DMP:

  • A short description of the data's content.
  • Total estimated storage needs (in MBs, GBs, or TBs)
  • A summary of the data's file formats and file types.
  • Anticipated data sharing/publication time frame.

DataShare has no storage limits on individuals or projects. However, DataShare is not a platform for hosting and distributing "big data" and all data uploaded to DataShare must be published (i.e. publicly accessible) otherwise it will be purged.

All DataShare accounts start with a storage quota of zero (0). After review and approval accounts are granted access to additional storage.

If you have a large or complex dataset made up of multiple folders and files please contact our staff to discuss the best way to organize and upload it .

When a submission is in review it means it is awaiting Curation Review by a librarian. During Curation Review librarians check that the:

  • Submission form is complete.
  • Files are well named, organized, and in an open format (whenever possible).
  • Documentation is sufficient for others to reuse the data.

Reviews usually occur within a day or two of the submission. If your submission is not reviewed in a timely matter please contact

How is the data on DataShare preserved?

Materials in DataShare are monitored and preserved at the bit-level. Bit-level preservation ensures that files stay intact. More advanced preservation techniques such as reformatting and migration, are not offered at this time. For this reason we encourage all deposits to be made in nonproprietary and/or ubiquitous formats whenever possible.

More about bit-level preservation: DataShare's data is stored on Amazon AWS S3 (Simple Storage Solution) infrastructure. S3 is designed for 99.999999999% durability (i.e. file integrity) and keeps redundant copies in case the primary fails. Additionally each file is given an MD5 checksum when uploaded. File integrity is regularly checked against the checksum to make sure the file is intact.

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For more help visit the University Library's
Data Management Plan Guide

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