Project and Components FAQ’s


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What is the distinction between the different category options on projects?

Categories on OSF projects are a way to organize projects and nested components (subprojects). Each category can represent the organization of the components. An example is how to organize a research group using OSF projects.

I have mistakenly changed my permission level from administrator of a project to read+write. How can I change it back to administrator?

Only an administrator can change a contributor's permission level to an administrator. Contact your fellow administrator on the project to change your permissions using this help guide: Edit Contributor Permissions

Does my project have an ID number? What is a DOI? 

Public projects on the OSF can be assigned a DOI which is often considered to be an “ID number”. A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique identifier that is persistent and maintained. This prevents broken links and preserves the accessibility of data stored on an OSF project. To create a DOI for an OSF Project or component, please see this help guide: Create DOIs.  DOIs are minted for preprints and registrations automatically when they are made public.

How do I get a DOI for my project?

DOIs are available for public projects and registrations. To get a DOI, first create a project. Then click the "Create DOI" link, located in the top left of the page below the project title. A DOI will be automatically created. (Learn more)

I have a project on OSF but searching the associated DOI on google doesn't bring up the page in results. Is the DOI active?

OSF Projects are not necessarily indexed on Google. We cannot control what Google decides to index and does not. They are minted by Datacite and can be found on 

What are the storage limits for projects and components?

Public OSF projects are given a 50 GB storage space, Private OSF projects are given 5 GB storage limits. For more information see our project storage help guides.

What is the difference between a component and a folder?

A folder can be used to organize files within a project or component - just like a folder on your own computer groups files together. A component is like a sub-project to help you organize different parts of your research. Components have their own privacy and sharing settings as well as their own metadata and unique, persistent identifiers for citation, and their own wiki and add-ons. You can also register a component on its own, without registering the parent project. (Learn more).

How can I license my data/code/etc.?

To apply a license to your OSF project, visit the project's "Overview" page and select one from the "License picker" in the top left of the page below the project's description. You can select from a variety of commonly used licenses or upload your own. (Learn more).

How do I delete a project or component?

Only an administrator can delete a project or component.  To delete a project or component, navigate to the project or component and click on Settings in the gray navigation bar. There you will see a red Delete button. If the project or component has nested components, you must delete the nested components before you can delete the parent project or component. (Learn more).

What's a globally unique identifier (GUID)? What metadata is maintained about them?

A globally unique identifier, or GUID, is a unique string only assigned to one object on OSF. All files, projects, preprints, registrations, and users on OSF have a GUID. Privacy settings dictate who can see the metadata about files, projects, components, or registrations. If a file is deleted or withdrawn, the GUID will always resolve to a page that provides metadata about the removed file (file name, storage provider, if the deletion occurred on OSF or on an add-on service, name/GUID of user who deleted the file, and timestamp of file deletion). For deleted or withdrawn projects, components, registrations, and users a similar page will exist at that GUID noting that the content has been removed.

How do I rename a project?

You can rename a project or component by clicking on its title in the top left of the project or component "Overview" page. This will enable an editable field. (Learn more).

I'm a contributor on a private project but can't seem to access it. What happened?

You may have been removed from the project by one of the administrators. You can get in touch with one of the administrators to ask if you were deleted and whether they can re-add you to the project.

I have a DOI for my OSF project. Can I host the material outside of OSF without losing the DOI?

Yes, send us an email with your DOI and the non-OSF location of your materials and we will update the URL associated with your DOI. Contact our support team using the support center beacon found on the bottom right side of any OSF support page: 

What can I do with a file after uploading it into a storage add-on?

You can view, download, delete, and rename any files uploaded into OSF Storage. Plain text files can be edited in your browser. All files are assigned unique, persistent identifiers, suitable for use in citations. Files in third party storage add-ons might have restrictions on renaming or deleting. See the add-ons comparison chart for more information.

I can't find my project when I search for it on OSF. What’s wrong?

The search function only returns public projects, so if you are searching for one of your own private projects, it will not be returned in the results. To search for your own projects, go to your dashboard (by choosing “OSF Home” from the navigation bar) and look through the list displayed there, or use the "My Projects" tab in the navigation bar. (Learn more).

Can I nest a subproject inside my existing projects?

It isn't possible to move projects to be nested below one another at this time. However, you can simulate this structure by adding links to the desired projects from the main project, and the links will appear on the project page under "Components" — see our help guide for step-by-step instructions.

I have a nested project structure with components. Is the storage limit for the entire structure?

Each project and component has its own storage limit, depending on the public or private status. Each is calculated independently. Storage totals are not cumulative across the project and components. For example, if you currently structure your project into sections using folders consider replicating part of this structure using components within the project/component. (Learn more).


Why is my location (country) an option for Project storage? 

You can set a global storage location for newly created projects. Different locations can be set on a per-project basis upon creation. Setting a global storage location is not retroactive: All existing projects will continue to be stored in the United States. As of now, the storage locations available are

  • United States
  • Canada - Montréal
  • Germany - Frankfurt
  • Australia - Sydney

Files connected to third-party storage add-ons are not stored or backed up on OSF. Please refer to the provider's server locations for information on where this content is stored

What are components? 

A component is like a sub-project to help you organize different parts of your research. Components have their own privacy and sharing settings as well as their own unique, persistent identifiers for citation, and their own wiki and add-ons. You can also register a component on its own, without registering the parent project.

Additional FAQ’s 

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