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SMU Research Data Repository (RDR) User Guide

Instructions and guidelines on how to use the SMU Research Data Repository.

How to Publish

By publishing your data, you make it partially or completely open to the world. When people conduct a search in search engines, they may discover your data hosted on SMU RDR. Making data open is a great way to increase visibility and impact of your research, and may indirectly improve your article citations.

However, sometimes there may be good reasons to impose restrictions and not allowing everyone to freely access your data, e.g. if you want to control who uses your data and why, or when you do not want to share the data when your paper isn't published yet.

See below for the different data publishing and accessing options available on SMU RDR.

You may publish a open record but hide the actual data files. The open record allows other researchers to find your data, thereby knowing of its existence, and they could contact you to request for the data.

To hide files from the public view, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Apply Embargo, followed by Select period... and choose Permanent Embargo. This option allows you to publish the record but hide the files from public view. You can also include a reason or provide information on how to request for access, e.g. contact information of the Principal Investigator. Here is an example of a confidential record.

Apply embargo on a record is useful when you want to control the timing when your data becomes publicly available.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Apply Embargo button. 

Select from the two embargo options:

  1. Embargo on the file(s) only, which means a public record will be published. Others are able to find this record but not able to download the data files until the embargo period has lapsed.
  2. Embargo on the whole item, which means that no one will be able to find your data and record until the embargo has lapsed.  entire record including the files

Next, select the embargo period and provide the reason or your contact information if you wish to allow others to request for your data. Here is an example of an embargoed record

You may publish a metadata-only record which describes your data, but the actual data files may be stored elsewhere. This publishing option is useful in certain circumstances, e.g. when you have confidential or personally identifiable information that are not allowed to be uploaded to SMU RDR. 

To create a metadata-only record, tick the Metadata record only option at the top of the screen and enter a reason. This option only appears if you haven’t uploaded a file to the item. Here is an example of a metadata-only record


If your data is available at an external URL link, e.g. another data repository, you may create a record on SMU RDR and link out to that URL

Click the Link file button at the top right of the screen. This option only appears if you haven’t uploaded a file to the item. Here is an example of a linked record

Note: If a DOI has been previously issued by another repository service, publishing a linked record at SMU RDR will create another DOI. This is undesirable as DOIs are meant to be unique identifiers. Please contact and we will help link your record to its existing DOI instead of creating a new one.  

You can publish an open access record and make your data files freely accessible to the public. 

After you have uploaded the files and completed the form with descriptive information about your dataset, your dataset is ready to be published. Select 'Publish' at the bottom of the page, and click on 'Publish item'. You will be prompted to read and accept SMU RDR's Terms and Conditions, and confirm the license for reuse, which you should have already selected from a list of available licenses.

After clicking on 'Yes, publish", your record will be routed to SMU Libraries for review and sanity checks, after which it will become publicly available. 

The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy