Regular depositors

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"What you need to know to deliver a dataset"

For regular depositors of large-scale social surveys or government data series there are five key steps to depositing a collection:

  • Plan - what to do before fieldwork begins
  • Prepare - what to do during and after fieldwork
  • Negotiate - discuss deposit with us
  • Deposit - transfer data to us
  • Ingest - what we do with your data

Consult our succinct 2014 guide on Depositing shareable survey data, preferably before the survey has been commissioned and fieldwork has started.


Discuss deposit conditions with us

Depositors need to agree access conditions and rights in the data with us before deposit commences.

Our access levels

At the UK Data Service data are classified according to their level of detail, sensitivity and confidentiality and appropriate data handling and access safeguards put in place. We provide a spectrum of data access options.

Open data

  • under open licence without any registration, either Open Government Licence (OGL) for Crown Copyright data or Creative Commons for other data
  • suitable for fully anonymised data or data with agreement to publish personal details

Safeguarded data

  • requiring an End User Licence, users to be authenticated, and, where appropriate, special conditions agreed to, or and getting approval from the data owner
  • suitable for anonymised data or data with agreement to publish personal details, and where the owner wishes to keep track of usage

Controlled data

  • requiring user accreditation and registration through training and approval by a data access committee, and users to be authenticated, using secure remote access or secure onsite room
  • for data that are are too detailed, confidential or sensitive to be downloaded

Seek your department's or organisation’s guidance from the division responsible for access, such as any local Microdata Release Panel, on the appropriate level of detail to be included in the data and the relevant access level. Categorise your data according to its impact level, which can then be used to determine the most appropriate access conditions.

You may wish to consider making different versions of the same data available under different access arrangements.


Rights in the data should be discussed with us, to ensure that all copyright holders are defined in the licence.


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