figshare help

How to upload and publish your research

Once logged into your account, make sure you are on the 'My data' tab and click the +Create a new item button. A new tab opens and you can upload files and fill in metadata as described below.

Upload files

Files are optional. You can create a linked record or a metadata only record if you are not uploading files. There are several ways to upload your research files, depending on the size:

1. Through My data where you can drag and drop files of up to 20GB into an item (20GB limit is for, limits may vary for institutional users)

2. Using our FTP Uploader or the Figshare API, especially when working with large file/s — most web browsers can cope with ~5GB single file uploads.

If these options do not meet your data needs, please create a support ticket.

All accounts are provided with 20GB of private storage and are able to upload individual files up to 20GB. Other individual account limits apply.

If an individual would like to publish outputs larger than 20GB (up to many TBs) or files larger than 20GB (up to 5TB), please consider Figshare+, our Figshare repository for FAIR-ly sharing big datasets. There is a one-time cost associated with Figshare+ to cover the cost of storing the data persistently ad infinitum. Find out more about Figshare+ or get in touch at with the storage amount needed and we will find the best way to support your data sharing. 

For institutional users, your private space limit is dependent on your institution, please contact your institutional admins if you require more space. Figshare for institutions also offers larger file size uploads up to 5TB.

Add descriptive metadata

1. Insert a Title. For information on how best to complete the fields for maximum exposure of your data, see our how-to guide here. Tips on how to fill out each of the fields can also be viewed by clicking the 'i' icon to the right of each field. Any field with a green asterisk is a required field.

2. Please note: If you're a Figshare for Institutions user (e.g. you've logged in through your single sign on), you may see a field called Group. This is an optional field set by your institution which allows users to select the group in which the item should appear. If this field appears on your institution’s instance of Figshare, please select a group from the dropdown menu. You can also search for the group in the search bar at the top of the menu.

3. Select the Item type from the drop-down menu. We accept any file type and preview over 1,200 file extensions in the browser.

4. Add Authors. You can rearrange the order in which the authors appear and remove yourself as an author if you are uploading on behalf of someone. You can also search by entering the email address or ORCID (if the author has synced their ORCID to their Figshare account) of the author you want to add. To add an author who doesn’t have a Figshare account, select Add author details and enter their name, email address (optional), and ORCID (optional).

5. Select a Category. These are taken from the Australian Fields of Research classification system. You can choose more than one and either select from the drop-down menu or search for your subject area. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, we recommend finding the best option and getting more specific in the Keywords section.

6. Add Keyword(s). These should be more specific than the category and help others find your research. Add as many keywords as you want - just hit enter after each keyword. Figshare remembers ones you’ve entered previously and will suggest keywords based on keywords that have been added to the database previously.

7. Write a Description. This should include any relevant information that pertains to your research - this might include information about the methodology, approval for data collection, or legal or ethical requirements. Be as descriptive as you can! You can also paste HTML into this field.

8. Add Funding information related to your data. When typing in your funder information, Figshare will search the Dimensions database for your funder and hyperlink to the Dimensions page bridging the connection between your research outputs and the funder. To add funding information that doesn’t appear in Dimensions, just type the funder information into the field and don’t select anything from the drop-down menu. Once you’ve published the item, you can click on the Funding information to see more information.

9. Add linkages to other research objects using Related Materials and provide information on the relation types. Figshare uses DataCite's standard relation types. Common relation types are IsSupplementTo and IsReferencedBy. Both of those relation types are interpreted as a citation for the dataset in DataCite's event data. For example, to add the DOI for a paper that uses the dataset, add the title of the paper in the title field, add the paper's DOI, select DOI from the identifier type list, and choose IsSupplementTo as the relation type. If you want to link to a related dataset or a Figshare Collection, use the IsPartOf relation type.

If your data supports a published paper, be sure to add the paper's DOI here and use 'IsSupplementTo'. The dataset can then be linked by databases. For example see this paper's record in the Dimension's database with the dataset nicely displayed as supplementary material:

10. Select a License. This will determine how others can reuse your data. You can choose from a number of licenses based on your reuse requirements.

If you are using Figshare through your institution, you may see additional custom fields to fill out.

In the upper right part of the page

11. Optionally add an embargo, create a private link (for anonymous sharing, useful in peer review), or reserve a DOI (to put in a manuscript before publication). If you are at an institution that uses Figshare, you may have to option to add an existing DOI. This is useful for some open access papers or creating catalog records for data that lives elsewhere.

12. Edit the timeline - most users can only edit the 'Online publication date'. The year from this date is used in the formatted citation on the public item page.

13. Optionally add a custom thumbnail. This is an image that will be displayed in search results. The image is not included with the files you describe with metadata - it is purely cosmetic and a way to make your research stand out.

14. Click Publish Item (or Submit for review if your institution enabled the review workflow). Doing so, you’ll be prompted to check the license you’ve assigned and the terms of use. If your institution has review turned on, you will be prompted that your item will be sent for review before it’s made publicly available. Make sure everything you have submitted is accurate - once it’s published, it’s permanently available.


Once your data is published the DOI can be shared for publication. Public data can also be shared on social media or private sharing links can be generated in order to share your private data.  

Other things to consider:

  • Ensure your data does not breach the 'Data Protection Act'
  • Ensure you have removed any Protected Health information
  • Ensure you have removed any identifying information

For more information, please visit our Policy section.

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