Frequently Asked Questions

What is LSHTM Data Compass?

LSHTM Data Compass is a curated digital repository of research outputs produced by staff and students at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and their collaborators. The repository is powered by EPrints 3, an open source software product developed by the University of Southampton. Repository hosting is provided by CoSector

The repository is maintained by the LSHTM Research Data Manager, based in the LSHTM Library & Archives Services. Correspondence concerning LSHTM Data Compass should be sent to

What resources are accepted by LSHTM Data Compass?

LSHTM Data Compass can be used to share resources intended for reuse, such as:

  • Qualitative and quantitative data
  • Software code and scripts
  • Search strategies
  • Research instruments, such as questionnaires and interview guides

Personal and confidential information, as well as material covered by third party copyright that cannot be distributed, must be removed from files prior to upload. Contact for advice.

Research outputs created to report on research findings, such as articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, theses, videos, etc. should be deposited with LSHTM Research Online.

What additional material should be provided?

Research outputs should be supported by supplementary material that enable the user to understand how it was obtained and how it may be used. Relevant files that should be provided include:

  • The Participant Information sheet and (unsigned) informed consent form
  • Documentation necessary to understand the data, e.g. a codebook or data dictionary
  • Research instruments used, e.g. a question list or interview guide.
  • Other relevant files, e.g. processing scripts

A journal has asked me to provide a DOI for my research data. How do I obtain one?

By creating a metadata record that describes the resource. See below for instructions.

I require a DOI to cite each file individually and a DOI to cite the group as a whole. How do I do this?

A Data Collection record must be created for each output for which you wish to obtain a DOI. Once done, a Project record can be created which places them into a wider group. Visit the Projects page for examples of this approach in action.

Contact for advice.

How do I deposit research data or other resources?

A metadata record describing the resource will need to be created. This can be achieved in one of two ways:

  1. To deposit files yourself: Login to Data Compass using your LSHTM credentials and press 'New Data Collection', enter information on the resource you will be submitting and attach relevant files. The Deposit Guides offer guidance on uploading various resource types.
  2. For help with the deposit process: Complete a Data Collection User Guide form and email it to, along with any relevant files.

When will my resource be made available?

Resources submitted to LSHTM Data Compass are reviewed prior to being made available. Although we attempt to make resources available as soon as possible, please allow 5 working days for the review process. Several checks are performed during this time:

  • Metadata: checked to confirm it is complete and understandable.
  • Content: Audited to ensure it does not contain personal or confidential data that cannot be made available.
  • File formats: Checked for corruption and accessibility.
  • Codebook: checked for completeness and accuracy. Any differences between values recorded in the data and codebook will be queried.
  • Consent form: reviewed to identify any conditions on access & use that may apply.
  • Ethics approvals: The ethics form signed off by the LSHTM committee is checked to ensure no additional permissions are needed to make the resource available.

We will attempt to correct issues where possible. In cases where additional information or a decision is needed, the depositor will be contacted.

I have published a resource. Can I update it with a new version?

Yes. However, you should contact to discuss the required update beforehand:

  • Metadata changes: Minor amendments to the metadata record can be made without creating a new version, e.g. to correct spelling errors, reword content to clarify ambiguity. These changes can only be made by the system administrator. Contact to inform them of the updates necessary.
  • File updates: Many file changes (e.g. publishing a new version of a dataset to replace an existing one) will require the creation of a new version of the metadata record. However, there are circumstances where an amendment to the existing record may be more appropriate, e.g. to add an extra file unrelated to others within the collection. Contact for advice.

What type of data access are supported?

Each file can be assigned an access level based upon the following categories:

  1. Anyone: File can be accessed by all users, without registration.
  2. LSHTM and other registered users: File can be accessed by users with an LSHTM login. Other users must complete and submit a request form. Registration of external users is not supported at present, but may be implemented at a later date.
  3. Request access for all: All users must complete and submit a request form, which is sent via email to the corresponding author for consideration.

I've published my data elsewhere. Do I need to upload it to the LSHTM digital repository as well?

No, but you should email to let us know that it's available so we can record its existence and promote it.

Must I provide a separate licence form for each data file?

Data published under a Creative Commons or Open Data Commons licence do not require a separate licence form. Restricted data made available on request should be accompanied by a Data Sharing Agreement or other licence that outlines permitted/non-permitted use.

Where can I find LSHTM's policy and procedure documents?

Click this link to view research data management policies, procedures, and support guides held in the LSHTM repository.

Other information

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