Skip to Main Content

DR-NTU (Data) User Guides and Policies

Content Coverage

DR-NTU (Data) is the Nanyang Technological University’s repository for research data. Content coverage is aligned to the Collection Guidelines for the Institutional Repositories.

According to NTU Research Data Policy, research data are data in whatever formats or form collected, observed, generated, created and obtained during the entire course of a research project. This would include numerical, descriptive, aural, visual or physical forms recorded by the researcher, generated by equipment and derived from models, simulations.

DR-NTU (Data) actively seeks out the following research data:

  • Final research data from projects carried out at NTU.
    The final dataset is a collection of final version of data that exists during the last stage in the data lifecycle in which all re-workings and manipulations of the data by the researcher have ceased.
    Each dataset should have a complete documentation and metadata. Documentation and metadata are necessary to make data findable, and allow other researches to reuse the data.
    Examples of documentation: readme.txt, codebook, data dictionary, manual/protocol, field notes, lay summary, and webpage.
    Final dataset has to be on Open (Level 1) classification (see NTU Research Data Classification).

DR-NTU (Data) does not accept the following:

  • Sensitive research data:
    • Identifiable data: Data that can be used to identify an individual, endangered species, object or location. This identification would increase potential risk of harm, discrimination, or unwanted attention. In Singapore, individual’s identifiable data is protected under the Personal Data Protection Act 2012. Exceptions can be made for data which
      1. has been anonymised with no possible re-identification and
      2. consent has been obtained from participants
    • Proprietary data, which is not generally known or accessible and which gives competitive advantage to its owner. This include research with commercialization potential, and information that have terms of use attached to it.
    • Restricted or confidential data with contractual (e.g. Research Collaboration Agreements, Project Agreements, Material Transfer Agreements, Non-Disclosure Agreements) or legal obligations (e.g. Official Secrets Act).
  • Data that might affect patent application.
    Data can be deposited in DR-NTU (Data) once the patent application has been filed.
  • Journal papers, conference proceedings, reports, or manuscripts.
    Use DR-NTU to deposit such items.
  • Images or figures from journal papers.
  • Research data that has been deposited in other open data repositories.
    Depositing in multiple repositories might create multiple Persistent Identifiers, hence we discourage depositing the same dataset to multiple repositories.
    Exceptions can be made for remaining research data which was not shared in other repositories. If you deposit the remaining research data in DR-NTU (Data), you can add the link to the externally deposited data in “Related Datasets” field.

Deposit Content and Access

Deposit Content: Size

DR-NTU (Data) does not impose limit on number of files in a dataset, nor the total size of files. Upload experience may vary, depending on factors such as type and bandwith of internet connection. For a better upload experience, we recommend an upload of maximum 10GB per single file. We highly recommend upload via NTU network for large-sized file upload.

Deposit Content: Quality Control

DR-NTU (Data) does not judge nor assess the scholarly quality of deposited datasets. The determination of research quality pertaining to the dataset is at the discretion of, and responsibility of the Depositor and Contact person(s), as stated in the Metadata.

DR-NTU (Data) reviews deposited datasets, provides advice, and makes changes, if necessary, to Metadata, including enhancements and/or corrections. This curatorial review is performed to facilitate findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability (FAIR) of research data.

Deposit Cost

There is no charge to depositing research data in DR-NTU (Data).

Access to Deposit

DR-NTU (Data) is an open repository. If depositor needs some control over who can download the deposited files, then the depositor may apply file restrict function. File restrict function, also known as depositor-approved-access, requires readers to contact or request access from depositor, and depositor shall decide whether s/he will grant the download permission to the reader. DR-NTU (Data) does not review nor grant access to restricted files.

DR-NTU (Data) recommends the usage of file restrict function for files that contained de-identified personal data. Although personal data has been de-identified, there is a risk of re-identification. File restriction gives depositor a way to review downloader’s request.

Deaccession and Deletion

Published datasets

DR-NTU (Data) will deaccession published dataset in the following, but not limited to, situations:

  • When deposit contains copyright infringing materials; or
  • When deposit contains confidential or classified data; or
  • When publishing the data violates ethical or legal norms, e.g., by compromising the confidentiality of research participants to whom promises of confidentiality were made.

Deaccession will be performed on either version(s) of a dataset or an entire dataset. When part of a dataset is deaccessioned for legal or ethical reasons, DR-NTU (Data) aims to keep the remaining data files in that dataset available. In line with best practices for data repositories, DR-NTU (Data) maintains a landing page for each deaccessioned data project that describes its original content and the reason for and date of deaccessioning.

DR-NTU (Data) will delete published dataset in the following, but not limited to, situation:

  • When deaccession is deemed as insufficient. This is the situation where the data files should not reside in DR-NTU (Data) due to ethical/copyright/contractual concerns


Unpublished datasets

DR-NTU (Data) reserves the right to review, transfer, and remove unpublished datasets, which have been deposited for more than 10 years.


DR-NTU (Data) shall inform depositors and other affected parties on deaccessioning or deletion.

Table 1 summarises various scenarios where DR-NTU (Data) may perform deaccession and deletion of data files and datasets.





Published dataset, contains file(s) that either infringe copyright, confidential, classified, or violates ethical and legal norms

Delete the file(s). DR-NTU (Data) or Depositor will deaccession the previous version of the dataset. Depositor may publish a new version, if required.


Published dataset, contains ONLY file(s) that either infringe copyright, confidential, classified, or violates ethical and legal norms

Delete the file(s). Deaccession the entire dataset.


Published dataset, contains non-copyright infringing research paper/manuscript file(s)

Advise depositor to deposit the paper/manuscript to DR-NTU.


Published dataset, contains ONLY non-copyright infringing research paper/manuscript file(s)

Deaccession the entire dataset (after giving 2-weeks-notice to depositor).

Advise depositor to deposit the paper/manuscript to DR-NTU.


Unpublished dataset, contains file(s) that either infringe copyright, confidential, classified, or violates ethical and legal norms

Delete the file(s).


Unpublished dataset, contains non-copyright infringing research paper/manuscript file(s)

Advise depositor to deposit the paper/manuscript to DR-NTU.


Published dataset, contains research paper/manuscript file(s) on embargo

Restrict the research paper/manuscript file(s).

Advise depositor to deposit the paper/manuscript to DR-NTU.

Table 1. Scenarios which warrant deaccession or deletion

Recommended File Format

A file format describes the way information is organized in a computer file. File format affects one’s ability to use and re-use the data in the future. File formats should be easy to read and easy to manipulate in a variety of commonly-used systems and programs, without compromising the purpose of the data.

DR-NTU (Data) recommends the file formats in Table 2 for deposit. This recommendation is meant to guide the way data are created following best practices. The recommended formats ensure that data is stored in the most appropriate ways for long-term digital preservation and prevention of technological obsolescence.

DR-NTU (Data), however, accepts data in all formats. When the data is not in the recommended format, DR-NTU (Data) cannot guarantee their long-term digital preservation. When you deposit file format which is not listed in Table 2, please elaborate on the format and the software requires to access it, in the dataset’s metadata or file’s metadata.



Type of Data

Recommended Formats


Tabular data with extensive metadata (variable labels, code labels, and defined missing values)


SPSS Portable (.por)

STATA (.dta)

SAS (.7bdat; .sd2; .tpt)

DDI (.xml)

eXtensible Mark-up Language (.xml)


Tabular data with minimal metadata (column headings, variable names)


Comma-separated values (.csv)

Tab-delimited file (.tab)

SQL (.sql)

SIARD (.siard)


Geospatial data (vector and raster data)


ESRI (.grd, .shp, .shx, .dbf, .prj, .sbx, .sbn)

TIFF World File (.tfw, .tif)

CAD data (.dwg)

Geography Markup Language (.gml)

MID (.mid)


Textual data (Documentation and scripts)


Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Plain text, ASCII (.txt)


Image data

Tagged Image File Format (.tif, .tiff)


Audio data

Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) (.flac)


Video data

MPEG (.mp4)

OGG video (.ogv, .ogg)

Motion JPEG 2000 (.mj2)

Lossless AVI (.avi)

QuickTime (.mov)


Computer Aided Design (CAD)

AutoCAD DXF v. R12, other versions (.dxf, .dwg)



WaveFront Object (.obj)

X3D (.x3d)


Compressed data

ZIP file (.zip or .ZIP)

Table 2. Recommended file formats for deposit to DR-NTU (Data)

Version: 1.3 (Released date: 5 May 2023)