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Australian Data Archive

How To Deposit Data

There are 4 simple steps to depositing your data with ADA.

1. Collect together all the data files

In the course of your normal research activities, ADA archivists often find that you have already prepared your data in a form that would be suitable for depositing with ADA.

In preparing your data files for deposit, you may want to think about:

  1. confidentiality - removing variables like peoples' names, addresses and phone numbers. (We will let you know if we find something that we think is a risk)
  2. naming conventions - have you labelled your data files and contents (such as variables) in a way that makes them readily understandable to others?
  3. created and derived variables - if they are important to replication of your work, can you provide the syntax that created it? If you can't describe how you created them, is it still important to archive them?
  4. data formats - are your data in an open or commonly used format? ADA does have a set of preferred data formats for deposit, but we can handle most data formats. ADA can provide some data format conversion, but this is dependent on the availability of ADA archivists and appropriate software and hardware.

If you're not sure about whether your data is in an appropriate format, please contact us.


2. Collect together all the relevant documentation

You may want to include:

  • a questionnaire and any other materials used like show cards
  • technical reports
  • any publications you want referenced in the documentation
  • other materials that may be helpful to a researcher in analysing and interpreting your data

It is preferable if you can provide these materials in electronic format where possible.


3. Complete the ADA deposit and license forms

We have provided a Deposit Form and Licence Form to assist us in archiving your data. These forms will also assist you in getting your deposit together. The only form that is essential is the Licence Form as it gives us your permission to archive the data and distribute to others. This includes determining the access conditions for your data. For information on determining the appropriate access conditions for your data, please see our information page on Setting Access Conditions.

The Deposit form provides us with information on your research so that we can provide an adequate description of the data, the methods use, documentation and other information useful to other users of the data. We will contact you if we find there is further information that we need to create complete documentation for your data.

4 Deposit the data, documentation and forms with ADA

There are a number of ways to transfer your deposit:

  • directly to an ADA data archivist
  • online - ADA has developed specific methods for online data transfer, including FTP and a secure web deposit service.
  • by email - suitable for smaller data files
  • by post - your electronic files can be copied onto a CD-Rom, USB drive or similar, and mailed to us. It's a good idea to let us know that it is coming so we can let you know when it is in our care. It is good practice to password-protect / encrypt data files that are sent by post

To determine the best method for the deposit of your data, please contact us at

Funding Partners

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