Frequently Asked Questions

Registration and Login / Technical

Do I have to register to use QDR?

Data deposits can be viewed without registration or log in. Their landing pages provide information about each project as well as immediate access to all documentation files. For access to data files, users need to create a free account, agree to the General Terms and Conditions of Use, and log in. The GTCU address, among other items, expectations for responsible use of research data and maintaining research data confidentiality, which is why QDR requires individual agreement to them before data access. Additionally, once logged in, users can also request access to restricted files as per the specific criteria relevant to different projects with more sensitive data.

What does QDR do with users’ personal information obtained during registration?

QDR uses personal information strictly in the manner spelled out in our Privacy Policy. In short, we do not sell, trade or release users’ personal information for commercial or other secondary purposes. We use the contact information entered in the account registration form and any automatically collected data (i.e., IP address, session information) solely to administer our website and enhance the user experience. If a user has opted in for ongoing communications, we also send periodic (several times per year) newsletters or experience surveys to users’ email addresses. QDR has security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control.

Are the data on QDR “open-access”?

“Open-access data” or “open data” are terms typically used to describe data that can be accessed, downloaded, copied and repurposed without financial, legal or other limitations. In that strict sense, QDR does not provide open-access data. Due to the nature of qualitative social science data, our approach requires limitation to the secondary uses of any of the data we publish (for scholarly and pedagogical purposes only), as well as additional qualifications for access to some materials which are restricted. Additionally, as a part of the academic data infrastructure, we also require non-alteration of any data used from the site and appropriate credit-giving by promoting standardized citation for each project or file referred to in secondary work.

I want to deposit my data. What is the first thing I should do?

Potential depositors should create an account and initiate a rudimentary deposit by clicking the “Deposit Data” button on the home page or the “New Project” button on the right-hand side of the data collections page.

QDR New Project Button

The only required elements for an initial submission are title of the project, depositor contact information, and a brief description. This creates a record in our system and sends an automatic message to the QDR staff who can then communicate with the depositor on next steps. We welcome initial submissions still at the planning stages of a research project.

If the data for the project are not yet collected, users should mention that in the Description and our staff can work with them on creating appropriate informed consent scripts or archival permission requests, as relevant, as well as provide more information regarding data management and curation costs for the purposes of grant proposal budgeting. Alternatively, you may email us at for a consultation before you initiate a project too.

Find more detailed description of the deposit process here.

I want to plan for eventual data sharing and include QDR in my funder-required data management plan (DMP). How can I do that?

As described above, you can either email us to set up a consultation or initiate a bare-bones deposit while still in the process of applying for funding. We offer a template data management plan (DMP) insert addressing planned QDR deposits, but we believe a substantive conversation where you tell our staff more about your planned data collection needs will lead to better ideas tailored for the context of your project and a reasonable suggestion for dedicated data management, deposit and curation costs to include in your grant budget proposal.

Curation Fee and Waivers / Institutional membership

I see QDR charges deposit and curation fees. Can you tell me more about those?

While QDR offers access to all published data free of charge, as a matter of long-term sustainability, QDR is expanding the use of both institutional memberships (see below) and individual deposit fees. Depositing researchers who are not affiliated with a current institutional member would be given a quote for their planned deposit early in the deposit process. The amounts for most typical deposits range from $300 to $1,000. The volume of files to be deposited (number and size), as well as the need for a lot of manual tasks, such as personally identifiable information disclosure review or similar, might lead to higher prices. Researchers typically cover this fee with local research funds.

How can I find money for the deposit and curation fee?

For researchers planning new funded research projects from which they will share data, the best approach is to include data management and sharing expenses as part of their funding proposal budget. QDR staff can help estimate a reasonable amount to budget for. QDR does offer waivers and discounts for non-funded projects, especially from junior scholars and scholars from under-resourced institutions.

What exactly does the fee pay for?

QDR offers fully curated data sharing and long-term preservation according to best digital archiving practices for qualitative and multi-method social science data. Our intensive process is human-led and consists of initial appraisal of collected data for suitability for the repository (plus, additionally, data management and human participant consultation if the data collection has not commenced yet); file integrity checks and, if needed, format conversions; file organization suggestions and file renaming for consistency and usability; copyright and personal information disclosure risk assistance; guidance for providing appropriate documentation; data publication with accompanying machine-exportable suggested citation, including a digital object identifier (DOI); post-publication publicity and citation metrics tracking using Make Data Count. In cases where access to the data is required as part of a masked peer review by publishers, book or journal editors or reviewers, QDR can also provide a private URL prior to the eventual publication.

How can I pay my deposit fee?

The invoice details payment instructions, but in short, the fee can be paid by institutional wire transfer or via an automated clearing house (ACH) transaction, electronic funds transfer (EFT), credit card or check.

How can I find out if my university is currently a QDR institutional member? / How can I find out if an institutional member still has available slots for deposits?

QDR list of current institutional members is updated regularly. Different members purchase different tiers of membership and make use of their allotted slots at different rates. To find out if your project can qualify for no-fee deposit under your institution’s current membership term, please initiate a deposit and we will let you know.

If a researcher deposits a data project while their institution subscribes as a member, but at some point the university no longer subscribes, what is the impact on the published data?

There is no impact once the project is processed and published. The data remain available as part of the QDR collection.

Can a researcher who has deposited data to QDR transfer them to or also publish them in another repository?

Under typical circumstances, de-accessioning from QDR is not possible. In part, this is because scholars re-using the data will have relied on QDR's holdings to provide research transparency in their own subsequent work, and they need to be able to link to that particular dataset. Moreover, depositors withdrawing data is technically and financially burdensome for a repository (for example, scrubbing the data from the distributed backups in DPN nodes would be a major lift). However, there is no objection to the scholar posting a duplicate dataset in another repository. To avoid confusion, current best practice is to have an authoritative version in one location. If additional versions are posted, they should be described as duplicates of that copy – QDR staff can assist with indicating this correctly.

What is the maximum project size? Are there limits on individual file size or number of files?

QDR can be used for large data projects with several thousands of files and hundreds of gigabytes (GB) in size. However, please contact us before uploading large amounts of data or individual files larger than 2 GBs, as QDR’s website is typically not the most efficient way to transfer large volumes of data.

Review and publication

I am submitting my data project as a supplement to a journal article under review. Can you help me with my reviewers’ need to see the data during the double-masked peer review process?

Yes, when requested, QDR can provide a private URL for otherwise fully curated projects, which you can submit to your editor who will include it as part of the review packet during the editorial process. With the help of this private link, only reviewers who have received the custom URL will be able to access the still-to-be-published data project in an anonymous manner. They will not need to log into the QDR system and the depositor’s name and contact information will be masked in both metadata and file names. After the editorial process is completed, this “behind-the-scenes” anonymous access will be blocked by disabling the link before the data are eventually officially published.

QDR encourages two-way connection between publications and supplemental data projects authored by the same people. First, we recommend that you use the suggested data citation in full in the manuscript you are preparing on the basis of your deposited data. Many journals have a formal data availability statement, where you can also direct readers of your upcoming work to look for the data on QDR, but a full and proper citation included in your bibliography treats your data as the valuable intellectual product they are and facilitates direct findability. Additionally, as part of the curation process, QDR staff will ask for any relevant publications – either already published or upcoming – and ensure they are properly recorded as part of the project’s metadata. We also monitor future publications captured by Google Scholar and, if proper DOI-based citation is used, will continue to enter secondary items published on the basis of the data project.

Can I access and download data if I am not affiliated with a current institutional member?

Yes, any registered user can download QDR content, subject only to data-related restrictions (e.g., special rules for participant protection).

What is the difference between standard and controlled access to data?

QDR offers file-level access restrictions for data where that is necessary or desirable. The main reason for applying special access controls is for the protection of human participants’ confidentiality, although copyright and other considerations can also place files under restriction. Standard access for all QDR-published data requires simple individual registration and log-in (following acceptance of the repository’s General Terms and Conditions of Use), while special access might require additional steps, which will be specified in the Terms of the project. Some common examples are confirmed institutional affiliation, a research plan, a data security plan, or human participant research training.