Data Submission Guidelines

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Preparing to Submit Your Files

When to Submit Your Data

You are ready to deposit data if:

  • your data is in a final state and not expected to undergo revisions (see the Data Versioning Policy).
  • you have removed any private, confidential, or other legally protected information from your data.
  • you are a faculty member, staff member, or student at Colorado State University.
  • you have permission to publicly distribute data from all creator(s) and/or copyright owner(s).
  • you know how big your files are and have read the File Size Considerations below.

Preparing Your Data


Each data set should contain enough information so that others can understand and make use of it. This information may be provided in the form of a README file, data dictionary, codebook, annotated instrument, lab notebook, and/or well-annotated code. Documentation formats and standards will depend on your research discipline and methodology. See this README template for an example of the types of information commonly found in README files.

If your data set includes data collected from human participants, please include copies of your approved Institutional Review Board (IRB) Protocol and Consent Form(s) for review by repository staff.

Recommended File Formats

For preservation and reuse purposes, we recommend archiving your data in preservation-friendly formats such as .csv for tabular data and .txt for code and README files. You may include files in proprietary formats along with preservation-friendly formats for convenience purposes. However, long-term preservation can only be guaranteed for file formats with a full level of support in the repository’s Preservation Policy.


Metadata makes your data discoverable by others. When you complete the data submission form, you will be asked to complete the following metadata fields:

Required information:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Description

Recommended information:

  • Abstract
  • Funding
  • Keywords
  • Spatial Coverage
  • Temporal Coverage
  • Associated publications
  • Embargo instructions for manuscripts under review (see below)
  • Department

Data For Manuscripts Under Review

Data associated with a manuscript under review may remain private during the review process. During this time, reviewers can access your data at a private URL (and you can still make changes to the data and metadata) but the data is not yet publicly searchable. It is important to inform us as soon as your manuscript is published so that we can make the data publicly available and update the citation for the associated article.

File Size Considerations

File upload limitations

The size limit for individual file uploads in the self-submission form is 4GB. If your data are larger than that, please contact us to arrange for an alternative method of transferring your files (e.g. hard drive, FTP site, Globus).

Cost model (current fiscal year)

Publication of large datasets is currently paused, as we work to transition our repository service to a new platform. For additional information, please contact

Mountain Scholar offers storage, preservation, discovery, and open access services at no cost for datasets under 1 TB in total size.

For datasets with materials greater than 1 TB in size, CSU Libraries and the Department of Academic and Networking Services offer these services at a rate of $150/TB for 5 years or $300/TB for longer than 5 years.

For example language about including these costs in a grant proposal, please refer to this DMP template for a NSF Data Management Plan.

Submitting Your Files

  • Log on using your CSU eID.
  • Complete the form to submit your dataset.
  • Mountain Scholar staff will review your data files, documentation, and metadata and contact you with any suggested modifications.
  • Once your content is approved, you will receive a notification that it is published in the repository and available to the global research community and discoverable via Google and Google Scholar.
  • Once approved, your work(s) will be open to the public and you will be provided a persistent link. This link can be used for citing your work(s) on personal and departmental websites, or with your ORCiD.
  • If your data has additional requirements or considerations that are not reflected in the submission form, please complete this Research Data Initiation document and consult with Mara Sedlins.

Additional Information:

Describing Data
Data Sharing
Data Archiving

For more information, contact:

Helen Baer
Head, Digital Repositories Unit
(970) 491-5934

Email: Mountain Scholar Staff

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