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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 Upload

Prepare your data for upload

Organize folders and files, select only the relevant data for long-term preservation. If you have a lot of files and would like to preserve the folder structure, zip them before you upload. 

Use open or non-proprietary formats

We recommend you to save or convert files into open or non-proprietary formats to facilitate long-term access and preservation, e.g. .csv, .txt, .pdf, etc. 

Create a read-me file for your data

You are recommended to create a read-me file that describes your dataset. The aim is to ensure that your dataset remains understandable and usable for many years down the road. Here is a template which you may adapt and use or you can create your own version. 

Once logged in, you will see the My Data page. Click on '+ Create a new item' and a form will be displayed for you to upload data and enter the metadata fields below. At any point of time, you can save the record and come back to edit it at a later time. 

Title Choose a descriptive title for your dataset. If your dataset is the underlying data of an academic article, you may use this format: Data from: [replace this part by the title of your article]. 

Author You can add SMU co-authors simply by searching for their names. To add a non-SMU author who doesn’t have a Figshare account, select Add author details. You can rearrange the order in which the authors appear and remove yourself as an author if you are uploading on behalf of someone. 

Category You can choose more than one and either select from the drop-down menu or search for your subject area. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, we recommend finding the best option and getting more specific in the Keywords section.

Item Type You can choose from Figure, Media, Dataset and Software. A small 'i' icon will appear when you mouse over an item type. Click on the icon and you will see a short description to help you decide if the item type is suitable for your data.

Keyword These should be more specific than the category and help others find your research. Add as many keywords as you want - just hit enter after each keyword. 

Description This should include any relevant information that pertains to your research - this might include information about the methodology, research objective or any other contextual information about your dataset. Be as descriptive as you can! You can also paste HTML into this field.

License This will determine how others can reuse your data. You can choose from a list of licenses based on your reuse requirements. Click on 'What's this' to find out more about each license type. 

Funding (optional) When typing in your funder information, SMU RDR will search the Dimensions database for your funder and link to the funder page in Dimensions. If your funder is not listed in Dimensions, just type the funder information into the field and don’t select anything from the drop-down menu.

References (optional) Add any URL links that contain related information to your dataset, e.g. project website, related dataset, sources that you use to derive your dataset, etc. You may enter multiple entries. 
If your dataset is the underlying evidence to support, replicate or reproduce a published article, please enter the DOI or URL of the article into Publication using this dataset instead of References

Publication using this dataset (optional) Enter the DOI or URL of the article that is based on this dataset. You may enter multiple entries. 

There are several ways to upload your data, depending on the size: 

1. Through My data where you can drag and drop files of up to 5GB, if you need to upload a single file of more than 5GB, please contact us at

2. Using our desktop uploader or the Figshare API, especially when working with large files. To download the desktop uploader or get more information about the API, click here.

3. If these options do not meet your data needs please contact SMU RDR can support single file uploads of up to 5TB in size. 

Note that you cannot directly upload an entire folder. If you wish to preserve the folder structure, you will need to compress the folder into a zip file. 

You may reserve a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for your draft data record without having to publish it. 
Reserved DOI is inactive and reserved for your record. It will only become active when you publish the record in SMU RDR. You may provide the reserved DOI link to your dataset in the related publication, and activate the link only when you are ready to publish your data.  

In a draft record, click on 'Reserve Digital Object Identifier' creates a DOI that is reserved for your item. 

You can share data privately with another person. This feature comes in handy when you want to share your data with a peer reviewer or your co-author. 
When editing a data record, scroll down to nearly the bottom and you will see an option called 'Generate private link':

You may share the link with another person, who will be able to access this record but not to edit it. Note that this link is temporary and is not persistent. If you want to cite the data in a paper, please use the DOI instead.

When you no longer want to share the data, you can click on the 'x' button to disable the link (note if you want to share again in the future you will need to generate a new link).

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