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

OSF Dashboard showing Create a new project button

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

New project creation screen showing title

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

OSF project showing upload button

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.

OSF Project showing Make Public button

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

Warning message before confirming making a project public

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.

OSF project page showing the citation section

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).

Screen showing options for privacy controls at the component.

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.

OSF Project page showing Registrations tab

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

Registrations tab showing Create new registration button

To register the project, select New registration.

Create new registration screen

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

Menu options for public visibility of registration

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.

Project page showing create DOI link

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

Confirmation popup to create a new DOI for a project

Select Create to generate your DOI.

Project page showing 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.

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