Add-ons, Storage, & API Integration FAQ’s


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Where does OSF store my data?

The United States is the default storage location for OSF Storage. You can set a global storage location for newly created projects going forward; 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 is the individual file size limit?

Individual files must be 5GB or less to be uploaded to OSF Storage. Larger files can be stored in an add-on. Learn more about storage add-ons

What is the cap on data per user or per project?

Currently, there is no applied overall cap on the amount of OSF Storage per user. Beginning November 3, 2020, OSF limited the capacity of private projects and components utilizing OSF Storage to 5 GB and public projects and components to 50 GB. Each project is created with a default OSF Storage enabled. View our Storage Caps help guide for additional information.

My project says I have exceeded the storage capacity, but I need to add more files. What do I do?

There are several options:

  1. Enable storage add-ons to the project or component where you've reached the limit. Review ourAdd-Ons help guide for more guidance.
  2. If you are working in a private project or component, consider making it public to automatically increase your OSF Storage capacity to 50 GB. Our help guide on privacy settings has more information.
  3. If parts of the project could be made public, organize the project with components to manage access to contents. See an example here. Learn how to create a component by reviewing our Create Components help guide.
  4. If you wish to discuss these options or additional needs, please contact our OSF support team. Contact our support team using the support center beacon found on the bottom right side of any OSF support page: 

I have cleared storage space in my project, Why has my storage tracker has not gone down?

When large amounts of files/data are moved or deleted at once, this sometimes can cause the storage calculator to freeze or stall. Contact our support team using the support center beacon and we can reset your storage calculator. 

I have a nested project structure with components. Is the 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.


Are there additional fees if I exceed the storage limit?

There are no additional fees associated with OSF Storage, though you will not be able to add additional files to a project or component that has exceeded its storage limit.

What is the size limit for a registration?

Registrations archive and preserve both OSF Storage and add-ons connected to projects. Registrations must be 5GB or less across all storage being registered. If you need to create a registration larger than 5GB, Contact our support team using the support center beacon found on the bottom right side of any OSF support page: 

How does OSF store and backup files that I upload to the site?

For OSF Storage, files are stored in multiple locations and on multiple media types on Google Cloud. We keep three types of hashes (MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256) for files. We keep parity archive files to recover from up to 5% bit error.

The OSF database is backed up via streaming replication 24 hours a day, and incremental restore points are made twice daily. Further, the OSF database is maintained in encrypted snapshots for an additional 60 days. Database backups are verified monthly.

Operational data (e.g., config files) for other OSF services are backed up in primary cloud file storage for 60 days.

Logs are primarily stored in Google Cloud cold storage indefinitely. In certain cases a third party aggregation service is used for up to 90 days.

If I delete a file or project, can I get them back?

Unfortunately, no. When a user deletes a file or project from  OSF, access to this content is removed for all users. 

How do I move a file from one storage add-on to another? Or one component to another?

You can move files between components and add-ons (provided the components and add-ons are a part of the same project) by simply dragging and dropping from within the "Files" section on the project "Overview" page or in the "Files" tab via the project navigation bar. The Dataverse add-on does not currently support this functionality. ( Learn more)

If I make a donation to COS, can I request more storage in my projects? 

The best mechanisms to support OSF Storage for your and others’ projects for many years in the future is to have your institution become a member, help us identify and resource more storage integrations with OSF, and to write OSF into your next grant or project budget. Visit to learn how to include OSF in your next proposal.


What services can I use with OSF?

OSF supports many third-party add-ons. For storage, you can connect to Amazon S3, Bitbucket, Box, Dataverse, Dropbox, Figshare, Github, GitLab, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Owncloud. For citation management, you can connect to Mendeley and Zotero. OSF also has its own default storage add-on, OSF Storage, if you choose not to connect to any third-party add-ons. Please refer to the Add-ons section of our Guides for more information on how to use add-ons.

What features or storage rules are included with the OSF add-ons? How do I choose?

Please review our add-ons comparison chart. If you do not see your preferred personal or institutional storage provider, please contact our support team to discuss options. Contact our support team using the support center beacon found on the bottom right side of any OSF support page: 

What are the common storage limitations with these add-on providers? 

The limit of add-on storage options varies by provider. We recommend users utilize the storage option that is ideal for their data (e.g., with respect to accessibility or security) and connect that service to their OSF project(s) rather than transfer the data to OSF storage.

Storage providers on OSF Storage by provider File size limits when uploaded to each add-on from OSF
Amazon S3 5GB free or a paid package based on location and storage plan 5GB
Bitbucket 1GB free per repository Read-only connection with OSF
Box 10GB free 5GB
Dataverse 1TB free on Harvard Dataverse; other Dataverses set alternate limits 6GB
Dropbox 2GB free 5GB
figshare 20GB free private storage, unlimited public 50MB
GitHub 1GB free per repository 100MB
GitLab 10GB free per repository Read-only connection with OSF
Google Drive 15GB free 5GB
OneDrive 5GB free Read-only connection with OSF
ownCloud 5GB free 512MB

Many academic research institutions may offer enterprise licenses for the tools above that provide increased storage limits. Institutions may also offer access to locally available storage options for users that have OSF Institutions.

There is no limit imposed by OSF for the amount of storage used across add-ons connected to a given project. OSF storage is offered as a complement to these options and to allow complete documentation of a research project’s lifecycle. Please see the COS Terms of Use for details.

The add-ons we use at my institution are not available. How can I follow your guides?

Determine if you have access to additional storage options, or request your institutions storage options be integrated with OSF add-ons by contacting our support team using the support center beacon found on the bottom right side of any OSF support page: 

I am leaving my institution and my add-on is tied to an institutional account. Will I still be able to see and modify my files through OSF?

OSF relies on an authentication or provider token process to verify access to each of your provider accounts. Once your permissions are revoked by the institution, OSF cannot continue to grant access to those resources. While preparing to change institutions, consider moving your files to a provider that you will allow you to retain access. Also reference any data management policies provided by your institution. If you have concerns or would like to discuss options, please contact our support team using the support center beacon found on the bottom right side of any OSF support page: 

If I move my files to an add-on, what happens to my OSF links to individual files?

Files moving to most providers will not change the file’s URL and all links and embeds will continue to function as expected.  For more information on file behavior within and between OSF add-ons, visit our Add-Ons help guides.

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.

Does registering a component with storage in an add-on mean the files are now stored/archived at COS?

Yes, those files are archived with the registration on OSF Storage and are unrelated to your project storage total.

If I have external storage, how do I know which privacy settings apply? Do I keep track of two sets of permissions/link access?

Privacy settings for each individual project or component are controlled separately, and content linked from external storage will inherit the public visibility of your project.  Consider adding components that can remain private if this content should not be accessed publicly.  Review our help guides to learn more about privacy settings andcomponents.

API Integration

Does OSF have a public API?

Yes! Read more on the API docs

Will storage limits interrupt API syncing / workflows?

Attempting to add to a project or component past its storage limit will result in a “507 Insufficient Storage” status. 

Additional FAQ’s 

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