Deposit Data


DSDR welcomes and encourages deposits of digital data. DSDR shares ICPSR's deposit system, which provides secure upload of files and a form for describing the deposited data collection.

To begin your deposit, click on the "Start Deposit" button below and select "DSDR" in the Archive drop-down menu.

Data Deposit Form

Help with Depositing Data

For deposits that involve physical materials, please email

Why Deposit Data With DSDR and ICPSR?

Data archived through DSDR benefits from protocols and services developed and supported by ICPSR:

  • Data Curation which enhances and adds value to data by making them easier to use. We also describe data fully for web discovery and protect respondent privacy.
  • Long-Term Preservation which ensure long-term data availability.
  • Worldwide Dissemination by offering data in the major statistical package formats and online analysis. Data usage statistics are available on each study home page.

Archiving data with DSDR also benefits researchers. Specifically, working with ICPSR, DSDR provides researchers with:

What Should My Deposit Include?

Deposits should include all data and documentation necessary to independently read and interpret the data collection. Key instructions for preparing data and documentation are listed below. For a discussion of best practice in preparing data for sharing, please refer to ICPSR's Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving, 5th Edition or contact DSDR staff directly ( For a list of data sharing tips, see our Tips for Writing a Data Sharing or Data Management Plan.

Data File(s)

DSDR encourages depositors to submit data as SAS, SPSS, or Stata files. ASCII files are also acceptable as long as they are accompanied with data definition statements. Datasets in other formats are accepted as well. Each variable in the data collection should have a set of exhaustive, mutually-exclusive codes. Variable labels and value labels should clearly describe the information or question recorded in that variable. Missing data codes should be defined. When applicable, all identifying information should be removed from the records to ensure confidentiality.


Documentation files are integral to interpreting a data collection and should thoroughly explain the data collection. Examples of documentation files include:

  • Codebooks;
  • Data collection instruments;
  • Summary statistics;
  • Project summaries; and
  • Bibliographies of publications pertaining to the data.

Documentation can be submitted as Microsoft Word, ASCII, and DDI XML files, among other formats. Documentation that has the question text integrated with variable information is preferred.


Every new or revised DSDR study includes a study description, which provides summary information about the data collection. Study descriptions are valuable resources to data users and include both general information, such as study title and summary, as well as more detailed information about the study design and methodology. Much of the information used by DSDR curators to create the study description comes from the ICPSR data deposit form.

What Happens to My Data After the Deposit?

After a data collection is deposited at ICPSR, a data curator reviews the documentation and data, builds a study description, enhances and quality-checks the data, approves the data collection for distribution on the ICPSR website, and archives the data for long-term preservation.

Access and Preservation Formats

ICPSR makes quantitative data files available in several widely used formats, including ASCII, tab-delimited (for use with Excel), SAS, SPSS, Stata, and R. Documentation is provided as PDF. For long-term preservation, data are stored in accordance with prevailing standards and practice. Currently, ICPSR stores quantitative data as ASCII along with setup files for the statistical software packages, and documentation is preserved using XML and PDF/A.