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Sharing my data

Sharing data:

  • encourages enquiry and debate

  • promotes innovation and new ways of using data

  • leads to increased collaborations between data users and creators

  • increases transparency and accountability

  • enables scrutiny and validation of research output

  • encourages the improvement of research methods

  • reduces the time and cost spent on duplicating data collection

  • increases the impact and visibility of research

  • advances your academic ranking through increased coverage and citations

  • provides great resources for education and training

Where can I share my data?

A wide variety of information infrastructure are used in research disciplines worldwide and you are free to choose how your data will be shared.

ZivaHub: Open Data UCT, powered by Figshare for Institutions, is available to all students and staff at UCT. This new service is an online repository, providing access to the supplementary research data that inform scholarly outputs hosted on other platforms, such as OpenUCT.

The UCT IDR allows you to make your research data citable, shareable, discoverable, and reusable. Some of its key features are:

  • Get DOIs for your research outputs
  • Comply with NRF and other funder requirements
  • Control how your research outputs are accessed
  • Validate and authenticate your research outputs
  • Increase citations and boost your research metrics

To get started, consult the DLS ZivaHub quick start-up guide

For further assistance with using the ZivaHub platform, powered by Figshare for Institutions, consult the the Figshare for Institutions user guide.

Before publishing any research output on ZivaHub, you are required to read and accept the UCT terms of data deposit.

After you upload, publish and accept the terms of deposit on ZivaHub, your dataset will go into review by a DLS curator, before it can be visible on the platform. The curator will check the metadata and if appropriate offer suggestions on how it can be improved. All suggestions are voluntary - as the data submitter, you have complete control over whether to make any proposed changes or require that the dataset be published as-is.

There are also many other online data repositories to choose from:

If you would like to find a subject- or discipline-specific repository, the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data) can assist you with finding other suitable repositories for sharing your data. We have also provided links to three

A long-running subject-specific repository based in UCT, DataFirst is a subject-specific (socio-economic and health sciences) data service provider, similar to the repositories in CESSDA. DataFirst is specifically a repository for microdata and not aggregated datasets, and contains a range of accessibility options including a secure data enclave. it is bears the international Data Seal of Approval, and as a data service offers a range of data services alongside its repository function.

Zenodo is an Open Science repository established and supported by CERN. If you would like to publish your data through Zenodo, please associate it with UCT through the 'Communities' metadata field.

Note that as an unmoderated repository, uploads will not be quality-checked by UCT, and it is difficult to retract data once it has been uploaded.

The Harvard Dataverse is a data repository available to all researchers world-wide. To deposit your data with Harvard Dataverse, follow the steps outlined on their website.

Similarly to Zenodo, the Harvard Dataverse is an unmoderated repository and is not affiliated to UCT.


The UCT OSF (Open Science Framework) is an online platform that is made available to assist researchers with storing, aggregating, collaborating and sharing research data throughout research projects. You can use this platform to manage and work with the data that you create or collect during your research project, and to create the final, processed dataset that you might want to share on one of the repositories linked above.

Contact us for further assistance with sharing your data at UCT.


Sharing data containing information on human subjects requires the data to have been thoroughly de-identified (anonymised) prior to publication, in order to protect research participants. Many organisations and data archives have made resources available on how to de-identify your research data, as listed below:

  1. The UK Data Service's guides on de-identifying quantitative and qualitative data
  2. National Institute of Science and Technology - De-identification of Personal Information
  3. SANOFI - Clinical trial data de-identification guidelines
  4. The Australian National Data Service has a useful guide which outlines how data can be made partly available (i.e. metadata-only records)
De-identification tools
The International Household Survey Network and the OpenAIRE consortium have provided tools for the de-identification of quantitative data:

It may be the case that your data cannot be sufficiently de-identified, or that de-identification has to be so extensive as to minimised the value of the shared data. In such instances, metadata-only records, or confidential file sharing (in which the data is securely stored and curated but the files themselves are not accessible) are ways of making the existence of the data findable without compromising participant confidentiality. Both of these functions are enabled in ZivaHub.

Useful links: