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Find Data

Discover thousands of research datasets from across the disciplines in data repositories.

There are thousands of data repositories that house datasets from a wide range of research areas, which greatly supports open research. Yet this means dataset publication is fragmented across thousands of repositories and it will take several searching approaches to find relevant datasets. Moreover, each repository works slightly differently so will require different searching strategies. Once you have found a dataset you should assess the quality and consider how you can reuse the data. 

Repository and data search engines

  • Re3data is a registry of over 2500 research data repositories from every domain. You can search by over 40 attributes including subject, content type and licence to find a repository in your discipline.
  • Datacite provides a search function that can help you find datasets in your area. This search will find datasets related to your subject across multiple repositories.
  • Google Dataset Search is similar to Datacite as it searches repositories to find datasets of interest according to your criteria. 

Multidisciplinary repositories

Searching multi-disciplinary repositories can help to find more datasets in your field due to their extensive content and coverage.

Data access statements

There is a developing drive for publications to include a data access statement to outline where and how the data can be accessed. You may find related datasets in your area in the literature and then use of the same repository in your research area.

Social media as data

Social media content is a rapidly growing and potentially rich source of research data. However, it presents legal, ethical and technical challenges. Even though the information is on the internet it does not mean it can be automatically accessed and reused. As the data involves human participants, you will need to address these methodological and ethical considerations in your data management plan and ethics application.

When considering and obtaining social media data you should:

  • check the Terms of Service of the host platform
  • request data using an API (application programming interface) if available
  • undertake web scraping responsibly
  • ensure you have sufficient and appropriate storage for the volume of the data you will obtain
  • plan for the removal of direct identifiers

Third party data

To acquire data from a third party, you may be required to complete a questionnaire or document. This normally aims to confirm to the data provider that the data will be securely stored and processed. If you are asked to complete one and need guidance on what to say please contact us