All data, software and code underlying reported findings should be deposited in appropriate public repositories, unless already provided as part of the article. Repositories may be either subject-specific repositories that accept specific types of structured data and/or software, or cross-disciplinary generalist repositories that accept multiple data and/or software types.
If field-specific standards for data or software deposition exist, PLOS requires authors to comply with these standards. Authors should select repositories appropriate to their field of study (for example, ArrayExpress or GEO for microarray data; GenBank, EMBL, or DDBJ for gene sequences). PLOS has identified a set of established repositories, listed below, that are recognized and trusted within their respective communities. PLOS does not dictate repository selection for the data availability policy.
For further information on environmental and biomedical science repositories and field standards, we suggest utilizing FAIRsharing. Additionally, the Registry of Research Data Repositories (Re3Data) is a full scale resource of registered data repositories across subject areas. Both FAIRsharing and Re3Data provide information on an array of criteria to help researchers identify the repositories most suitable for their needs (e.g., licensing, certificates and standards, policy, etc.).
If no specialized community-endorsed public repository exists, institutional repositories that use open licenses permitting free and unrestricted use or public domain, and that adhere to best practices pertaining to responsible sharing, sustainable digital preservation, proper citation, and openness are also suitable for deposition.
If authors use repositories with stated licensing policies, the policies should not be more restrictive than the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
- Dryad Digital Repository
- Harvard Dataverse Network
- Network Data Exchange (NDEx)
- Open Science Framework
Repositories by type
|Biomedical Sciences||Omics||Structural Databases|
|Marine Sciences||Physical Sciences||Taxonomic & Species Diversity|
|Model Organisms||Sequencing||Unstructured and/or Large Data|
*Data entered in the STRENDA DB submission form are automatically checked for compliance and receive a fact sheet PDF with warnings for any missing information.
- Functional Connectomes Project International Neuroimaging Data-Sharing Initiative (FCP/INDI)
- German Neuroinformatics Node/G-Node (GIN)
- Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
- Qualitative Data Repository
- UK Data Service
Taxonomic & Species Diversity
Unstructured and/or Large Data
PLOS would like to thank the Open Access Nature Publishing Group journal, Scientific Data, for their own list of recommended repositories.
Repository Inclusion Criteria
PLOS continues to consider adding new entries to our approved list of recommended repositories. The minimum criteria for inclusion are as follows:
Dataset submissions should be open to all researchers whose research fits the scientific scope of the repository. PLOS’ list does not include repositories that place geographical or affiliation restrictions on submission of datasets.
Repositories must assign a stable persistent identifier (PID) for each dataset at publication, such as a digital object identifier (DOI) or an accession number.
- Repositories must provide the option for data to be available under CC0 or CC BY licenses (or equivalents that are no less restrictive). Specifically, there must be no restrictions on derivative works or commercial use.
- Repositories should make datasets available to any interested readers at no cost, and with no registration requirements that unnecessarily restrict access to data. PLOS will not recommend repositories that charge readers access fees or subscription fees.
- Repositories must have a long-term data management plan (including funding) to ensure that datasets are maintained for the foreseeable future.
- Repositories should demonstrate acceptance and usage within the relevant research community, for example, via use of the repository for data deposition for multiple published articles.
- Repositories should have an entry in FAIRsharing.org to allow it to be linked to the PLOS entry.
If you believe your repository satisfies the above criteria, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, including any relevant information.
Repositories that do not meet these criteria will not qualify for addition to our recommended list, but may still comply with the PLOS data policy and be acceptable for data deposition.