Good data deposit guidelines

Good data

Your data should:

  • consistently include header rows and scientific units relating to any measurements
  • document details about any scientific standards, instrumentation, software, code or data collection methodologies used
  • be provided as a final version and therefore complete
  • have all acronyms explained and use consistent naming conventions
  • ideally be 'open' data allowing it to be discovered and re-used by other interested parties

Good data donation

When packaging up your data to deposit them with NGDC, you should consider the following.

Your data should be grouped appropriately with a common geographical location or science-specific topic, e.g. 'two site investigations for Smith Street' or 'a chemical analysis spreadsheet of limestone'. This may result in you needing to split the data into several separate donations.

A donation should not contain published material or administrative documentation. NGDC are responsible for holding datasets that underpin publications but not the published material itself.

Only one data access type (either open or restricted) can be applied to an entire donation. If your donation contains both open and restricted data, you will need to split your data and donate them separately, otherwise the open portion of your data will not be visible to our open web systems.

Bespoke portals to deliver your own organisation's restricted donated data alongside NGDC openly available datasets can be built. Please contact the NGDC regarding commissioning such an activity.


For further details, please contact