Discovering research data

Before planning or undertaking a data collection activity, it is a good idea to check whether data have already been collected and shared that might be a suitable basis for your research, in whole or in part.

Discipline-specific searches

There are many data archives around the world that specialise in certain types of data, and therefore cater to the needs of specific subject areas or disciplines. These are often the best place to start looking for data relevant to your research.


Life Sciences

Physical Sciences

Social Sciences

For a more complete selection, consult the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data), which maintains a list of data archives along with properties such as their subject and content type specialisms and the country in which they are based. You can search the list or browse by subject area to find relevant archives, then follow the links provided to search them individually.

General searches

If you cannot find a data archive for your subject area, or cannot find relevant data in the archives you have tried, it may be worth performing a general search across many different archives, including generalist data repositories. The following are search tools you might consider trying: