Discipline-Based Data Archives

Depositing your data

Where should my data go? If your discipline already has a repository in place for research data, consider depositing your data there first. Discipline-specific repositories are often better able to accommodate specific data archiving needs and may provide an ideal archiving solution for your research data. However, not all disciples have a data repository, which is why we created the Data Repository for the U of M.

NameDiscipline/sOpenness/costOther interesting bit
ICPSRsocial sciencesMembership based, free to submit if a member UMN is a member, along with many others
FigSharegeneralFree with size restrictions a free cloud-based service for researchers to upload their data for discovery and access
GenBankmolecular biology, genomicsPublicLots of resources to make it easy for NIH funded research to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy (for publications) and the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (for data)
EOSDISearth sciencesPublicNot a single repo, but a collection of data centers. The EOSDIS website provides a good starting point.
NODCoceanographyPublicClear submission instructions and help with authoring metadata
tDARarchaeologyLots of publicly accessible datasets, some restricted. Submitting data incurs a fee
NIH repositories listNot disciplinary specific per se, but health sciences broadly

Search Data Repositories

DataBib is a tool that searches across hundreds of data repositories available for data deposit. This vetted source helps answers questions such as who can deposit and access the data.

Popular Data Repositories

A selection (not intended to be comprehensive) of publicly accessible data repositories categorized by subject.

Agricultural Sciences

  • EarthStat - hosts global agricultural data for 175 crops, globally, among other data sets. This is the product of a collaboration between the U of MN's Institute on the Environment and McGill University.
  • USDA Economic Research Service Data Sets - wide range of data from food safety to farm economy.


  • Digital Archaeological Record - tDAR is an international digital archive and repository that houses data about archaeological investigations, research, resources, and scholarship. tDAR provides researchers new avenues to discover and integrate information relevant to topics they are studying.
  • Open Context - Use Open Context to discover, reference, and publish primary data and documentation collected in archaeology and other field sciences by professional researchers.


Biological and Life Sciences

  • DigiMorph - Digital Morphology library is a dynamic archive of information on 3D scans, animations, and high-resolution X-ray computed tomography of biological specimens.
  • Dryad - Dryad is an international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed articles in the basic and applied biosciences. See their data submission page for instructions.
  • PLEXdb - Gene expression data for plants and plant pathogens. It contains smaller databases for specific plants (e.g., BarleyBase) as well as a variety of related tools.
  • Protein DataBank - Experimentally determined structures for macromolecules (protein and nucleic acids). The site includes search and visualization tools
  • The Cell: An Image Library - Images of all cell types from all organisms, including intracellular structures and movies or animations demonstrating functions. This project relies upon the cell biology community to populate the library.
  • UniProt - Free protein sequences


  • Cambridge Structural Database - small molecule crystal structures
  • eCrystals - x-ray crystallographic data
  • PubChem - NCBI's repository of bioactivy/bioassay data and information for "small" molecules (i.e. not macromolecular). Both text-based and structure-based search tools are provided

Computer Science and Source Code

Earth, Environmental and Geosciences

GIS and Geography

Health and Medical Sciences


Social Sciences

  • ICPSR, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research is a non-profit, membership-based data archive located at the University of Michigan. The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (UM-TC) membership allows students, staff, and faculty to access ICPSR data files and documentation for the purpose of academic research. The data available through ICPSR are raw, unanalyzed data which require statistical analysis. Individuals who are prepared to analyze raw data can download data themselves from the ICPSR web site. All other users should contact the Data Services Librarian for assistance.
  • Social Sciences Data - Library finding aid
  • Guide to Social Science Data - at the University of Minnesota (pdf)

The Data Repository for the U of M (DRUM) If your discipline lacks an established repository, or if using existing repositories would not fulfill funder requirements for public access, consider the Data Repository at the U of M (DRUM). DRUM is available to house data generated by U of M researchers. If your funding agency requires your data to be made public, DRUM may be an option for you.

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