Sharing data

The OSF is streamlined to facilitate data sharing. This guide explains the process from a new user perspective, assuming minimal experience with the OSF. If you already have a project with data you would to like share, please see our guide on privacy controls to determine what parts of your project you would like to make public.

Create a project to house uploaded data files

The first step to making data publicly-available is to create a project. Select Create new project from the OSF landing page.

Enter a title for your project followed by an optional description. Select Create.

You will be directed to your project's main page. Select OSF Storage under the Files widget and select Upload, or simply drag-and-drop your file into OSF Storage.

Once uploaded, the data file will appear indented beneath OSF Storage. Select Make Public to initiate public sharing of your data.  

A modal will appear warning you to ensure your data is publicly shareable. Select Continue once verifying your data does not contain sensitive or restricted data.

Once made public, your data will be accessible via the OSF. Select Citation from the project overview page in order to receive bibliographic information for referencing your data.

Create components for more granular privacy controls

The OSF allows parts of projects to be made public (e.g. data) while other parts remain private (e.g. presentation materials).

By creating components, you can store different parts of your project in different sections. When making your project public, you can specify what will be made public and what will remain private. View privacy controls for more information.

Register your project to generate a shareable DOI

By registering your project publicly, you can generate a unique Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for free. This may be done for your project as a whole (i.e. registering from the project main page) or individual components (i.e. registering from the component main page).  Please note that registering a project will make each component beneath it public. If you do not want to register your entire project, consider registering individual components.

Select Registrations from the project or component overview page. In this example, the registration is generated for the whole project.

To register the project, select New registration.

Select Open-Ended Registration for a general registration followed by Create draft.

Select Make registration public immediately if you are ready to immediately register. You may also Enter registration into embargo if you would like to delay registration for a specified amount of time. This may be done up to four years in advance.

Select Continue. Complete the remaining modals and select Register.

Once registered, select Create DOI / ARK from the project overview page.

Select Create to generate your DOI.

In addition to your registration's unique, persistent URL, the created DOI will perpetually reference your data. This may be cited and accessed by the public.