Sustainable Digital Scholarship

Preserve your digital projects. Now and forever.
Contact Our Professionals
Want to know more? -- see HKUL LibGuides
Service provided by Research Data Services, the University of Hong Kong.
Only members of the HKU community are eligible.

The solution for long-term preservation of any digital projects.

Any digital projects, including research and student projects, can be preserved via the Sustainable Digital Scholarship services. The services cover a wide range of data management areas such as storage, publication, and preservation of project data. Staff, students, faculties and departments are welcome to make use of the services for both research and non-research purposes.

Extend the lifespan of
your project

By addressing the ‘sustainability’ of your digital projects, you could extend the lifespan of your project data and retain their values for as many decades as possible even if the project has come to an end. It brings you future access to your project data regardless of the rapid technology obsolescence or data loss due to hardware degradation.

What we offer

Under the Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) services, project data are preserved on DataHub, powered by Figshare, the HKU institutional data repository. DataHub is a data repository offering long-term storage, unique identifiers for publication and sharing, and eligibility of data editions and updates over time. Through the SDS services, HKU community members can have their data of on-going projects or future projects hosted on DataHub for collaborations and long-term access. We are offering the below extensive services:
Migrating past and current project data to DataHub
We would assist to provide advice for ensuring a smooth migration process in migrating any pre-existing project data to DataHub from other locations, such as harddisk, cloud drive, database, etc..
Setting up customized pages on DataHub for new project
Upon request, a customized page with your choice of background image and logo could be created for your digital project. It is ideal for storing and showcasing your work in a specialized space.
Training sessions and guidelines
Training sessions and workshops will be organized by the HKU Libraries regularly concerning the use of DataHub. In addition, user guides are also available on the HKU Libraries website.

Use Case

The Inter-generational Participatory Co-design Project

The Inter-generational Participatory Co-design Project (IPCP) was a knowledge exchange and research collaboration project co-organized by the HKU Libraries, the Common Core Office, the Sau Po Centre on Ageing, and the Faculty of Education during the 2019-20 academic year.

In the programme, three groups of HKU undergraduate students are teamed with secondary school students and retired Senior Champions (50+ years old) in Hong Kong to carry out projects addressing the importance for local cultural heritage.

During the projects, students made use of various kinds of technological innovations and produced quite a number of valuable digital data that could be of value or interest to the community. For maintaining sustainability and preservation of those data, they have been archived and shared on DataHub via the SDS services.

With a chosen customized background image and logo uploaded, a specialized collection page has been established especially for the IPCP project. On this page, data from the three projects are organized in a structured directory and published items are openly accessible by the public. Other private items would be stored in the folder for archival and would not be publicly accessible until publication.

Discover and explore more details of this use case on

Key Features

Storage supporting almost all file formats, including images, multimedia files, documents, spreadsheets, presentation slides, 3D objects, programme codings, softwares, etc., with the ability of previewing file contents.
Persistent Identifier
Publication of your items with a unique Digital Object Identifier (DOI) assigned, granting persistent locations for your items. DOI Versioning is also supported for future updates.
Secured data storage platform which meets the highest international information security standards (ISO27001 certification).
Platform for collaborations with project members from within and outside of the University during the project.
Citations and analtyics
Citations and analytic statistics of your published items for tracking the impacts of your data.
Index of your published items on the World Wide Web, making them discoverable via the Internet such as Google Dataset.
Ability to apply access restrictions for particular data records, or keeping data private and unpublished.
Metadata fields for archival uses and future reuse.
Simple interface and access via HKU Portal Login.

When it ends, it starts.
The measurable indicators on DataHub, such as citation counts and analytic statistics, could be a better evidence of your project impact.

Frequently Asked

The SDS services are eligible for students and staff members of the University of Hong Kong on almost all digital projects, including research projects, student projects, community projects, science and technology innovation projects, etc.

However, projects that are structured for inclusion in relational databases will not be suitable for the SDS services since DataHub, the primary tool for the provision of SDS services powered by the Figshare platform, is not a database itself.

Figshare is a web-based interface designed for academic research data management and research data dissemination. It accepts all file types (with in-browser viewing). Its objective is to provide academics a permanent ‘home’ for their data by supporting long-term preservation. Along with the continuous development, the Figshare platform becomes a solution enabling academics to upload, share, cite and importantly discover all manner of research outputs, including any kind(s) of digital projects. Find out more at the Figshare Guide.

The general features of Figshare are:
  • Ability to upload single files up to 5GB
  • Reservation of DOI before release of your work
  • Assignment of DOI for your uploaded work upon publication
  • Acceptance of any file format
  • Accessible anywhere
  • User-friendly interface for fast and resumable file uploading
  • Automation of your workflows via using Figshare API
  • Collaborative spaces with project members
  • Private link sharing
  • Creation of ‘Collections’ to showcase your work
  • Find out more at the Figshare website.

DataHub, powered by Figshare, as an institutional data repository allows your project data to be preserved and showcased via an institutional channel. Unlike other data archive platforms, DataHub can make your data remain ‘live’ and ready to be updated or edited at anytime even after the project’s active phase. Beyond simply storing and archiving data, DataHub is an ideal platform suitable for preserving, collaborating, publishing and sharing your project data.

Yes, we also offer support services for creating a Data Management Plan (DMP) via DMPTool. Please refer to our step-by-step guideline for DMP creation via DMPTool for details.

Your project data published via the SDS services on DataHub will be assigned a unique versioned Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Your data files can be accessed via a DOI link which enables public access as long as the item remains in the repository. The platform also provides citations in different styles so that your data can be cited with the DOI easily.

No, a DataHub account (via HKU Portal login) will be automatically activated for HKU academic staff, research staff, and research postgraduate students upon commencement of their enrollment or appointment at the University. For other students and staff members of HKU, please contact us via directly.

For external project members outside of HKU collaborating with HKU members in a particular project, they are recommended to register a Figshare account in order to access the project data stored on DataHub. If they do not have one, non-login submission is also supported on DataHub. External members can submit data files via a configured webpage ( without having a DataHub or Figshare account.

Everyone depositing data onto DataHub must read and agree the Depositor’s Agreement.

Each personal account will be assigned an initial of 100GB private storage on DataHub, with the ability to request for extra storage by submitting requests on your ‘My Data’ profile with valid justifications.

A user guide for using DataHub is available on the HKU Libraries LibGuide. Training sessions and workshops will also be organized by the Libraries regularly, please stay updated with us for any announcement in the future.

You may also refer to the end user guides provided by Figshare and the official Figshare’s YouTube channel for videos and electronic resources on how to use the Figshare functions.

The SDS services are available free of charge for digital projects conducted at the University. Due to resources restraints, if your project data exceeds 10TB in total, additional costs may be required for hosting your data.

All data deposited on DataHub will be preserved and the published items will be publicly accessible long into the future. The data will also be backed-up regularly. We are committed to provide a persistent ‘home’ for your project data.

However, dataset removal from DataHub may be applicable subject to the terms as listed in the Depositor’s Agreement and the relevant takedown policy.

Ready to get started?

The SDS services are available free of charge for almost all digital projects conducted at HKU, except projects related to relational database which would not be suitable for the services.

Additional cost may apply if your project data exceeds 10TB in total and further arrangements may be required for such complex and large projects. Please contact us if you have any enquiries.

Want to know more? -- see HKUL LibGuides

Contact Our Professionals

HKU Research Data Services
Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday - Sunday: closed