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Data Sharing

There is increasingly more demand for the data sets that underline research to be available.   Funding agencies are requiring that research data be preserved, discoverable, accessible, and reusable.   Journal publishers are also asking that the data sets that support the research findings in a paper be made available.  As a way to address, data sets [no larger than 5GB per file] may be uploaded into INDIGO.  Since you start with 2GB, you will need to submit a request to increase your total space allotment (not to exceed 10 GB).  

If you have sensitive data, INDIGO is not an appropriate place for the data.  However, you may create a metadata only record, which will allow you to make know you have data that others can request from you for re-use, with the correct security and credentials.  Please see Metadata Only Records for additional requirements for metadata only records.

INDIGO for data storage or discovery

INDIGO can be used for data storage and data discovery

  • Upload data directly into INDIGO
    • For smaller datasets, INDIGO can be use for both data discovery and data storage
    • an individual dataset can be no larger than 2GB.  Individual's data storage limits start at 2 GB and can be increased up to 10 GB
    • Datasets should not contain private or sensitive information
    • See below for more information on How to Prepare your Data for Deposit and Accepted Data in INDIGO
  • Create Metadata Only Records for Data Discovery
    • For large datasets or data that is sensitive and cannot be shared openly (but reuse with appropriate permissions are possible)
    • INDIGO will assign a DOI for discovery and citation count purposes
    • See Metadata Only Records for more information

Regardless of whether you store your data directly in INDIGO or create a meta-data only record in INDIGO, please prepare Readme and data dictionary files as appropriate to facilitate the re-use of data.   See below for more information.

MyActivities: For faculty with a MyActivities account, depositing data in INDIGO or creating a metadata only record in INDIGO will also create a Dataset record in MyActivities in Scholarly & Creative Works so you don't need to re-enter the information.  Alternatively, if you have entered the information in MyActivities, you can click the Deposit button next to the record to upload the dataset into INDIGO.  

Data Storage @ UIC and beyond

Data Storage at UIC

UIC has several options for storing data.  Please see the Data Storage Finder UIC for more details.  INDIGO is appropriate for small data sets that do not contain sensitive or private information.   INDIGO does allow the creation of metadata only records in order to share the availability of large data sets or data sets that contain sensitive information.    The metadata only record would provide information about the limitations or the data and the appropriate requirements required for data reuse (i.e. IRB approval)

Other data repositories

Please note there are many data repositories available, including subject discipline repositories which may be more appropriate for your data.  Consult the Registry of Research Data Repositories ( to explore other options for depositing your research data.

What kind of data is accepted in INDIGO?

Research data from all fields, subjects, and disciplines at the University of Illinois at Chicago may be published and/or archived in INDIGO, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The work must be produced, submitted, or sponsored by a valid University of Illinois at Chicago faculty members, researchers, staff, or student.
  • The author/copyright owner must grant the University of Illinois at Chicago the nonexclusive right to preserve and distribute the data in perpetuity.  For more details, please see the INDIGO's Nonexclusive Distribution License.
  • The data is in formats that are open and nonproprietary OR the data is in proprietary formats that are widely used and appropriate for the research communities likely to re-use the data.
  • The data submitted is permissible according to the criteria and practices established for deposit by the University Library, policies set by University of Illinois at Chicago IT Security Program (see UIC’s Data Classification and Security Guideline) and requirements for ensuring that research data involving the use of human subjects is in accordance with the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). 
  • You have fulfilled any right of review, confidentiality, or other obligations required by contract or agreement if the work was sponsored or supported by an agency or organization other than the University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Data in INDIGO must be openly available to anyone.  Submitted data should be well-documented and ready for distribution and reuse by others. Once you submit data with the intent of making the metadata and DOI public for findability, you may specify an embargo of up to 1 year.  Please email to discuss any longer embargo periods.
  • The data is submitted with appropriate documentation and descriptive metadata, which could include reusage terms, a project description, data dictionaries, etc. A README file is required for all submissions. For assistance with documentation, please contact  


  • We will not accept:
    • Confidential or sensitive data. This includes data that are subject to export controls, present a conflict of interest for the University or the Researcher(s), or whose distribution would otherwise constitute a violation of research ethics or compliance.
    • Data containing personally identifiable information that would prohibit public access.
    • Data that is encrypted.
  • While the above types of data may not be uploaded into INDIGO, it is possible to create metadata only records in INDIGO to make others aware of your data and how they can request access to use the data.  
    • We are happy to assist in the creation of a metadata and documentation-only record which allows for discovery of the dataset without exposing the data publicly. For assistance in creation of a metadata and documentation-only record, please contact


Please email prior to writing the use of INDIGO into your grant data management plan to confirm there will be enough space available for your data and if INDIGO is appropriate. 

How to Reserve a DOI for dataset associated with journal article

To obtain a DOI for the dataset prior to the journal article being published, without formally publishing the data do the following:

  • At the bottom of the form where you are entering information about the data, you can click on Reserve Digital Object Identifier.  That will provide a DOI you can provide to the journal.  
  • You will also click on Generate private link if you need to be able share access to the data prior to publication.   You will only share this private URL prior to publication of the dataset.   After the dataset is published in INDIGO, you will want to share the DOI when sharing information about your dataset.     

Need Support?

Having trouble with the INDIGO website?   Email

Need to increase your INDIGO space quota?   Email

Have a question about data management or documentation?  Email to ask a question or request a consultation with one of our librarians.

Learn more about data management at: