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If you're not ready to upload files, but need a DOI, you can create a Metadata only record

You can link to data stored elsewhere, e.g., in DAMS or on another website, by clicking the Link file button at the top of the metadata entry screen.

(warning)  you do NOT need to create a "project" to upload data. In fact, you probably will never need to create a "project" - see Create collaborative spaces using "projects"

Figshare is a repository not a regular website.

Any files associated with the published dataset will be available - even if you remove them - because the dataset is versioned. The removed files will still appear under an older version.

Datasets and their associated metadata can only be permanently removed by an administrator - contact Thompson, Keri if you need a dataset permanently deleted.


There are 5 ways to get data and associated files into Figshare:

  1. using the browser (most common)
  2. using the desktop uploader app
  3. using ftp (for large files or flaky connections)
  4. through the API
  5. by importing an entire repo from GitHub 

Add data files

From the browser

(star) This is the most common way to upload files that are under 5GB into figshare. If your files are over 5GB, please use the FTP option below.

For browser upload, after logging in under the My data tab choose either

  1.  + Create a new item button
    1. The metadata editing window will come up and you can upload your data files or, if you want to create a metadata only record check the box next to (tick) Metadata record only and begin adding your descriptive metadata.
  2. Or drag/drop or browse to upload files

    1. the metadata record screen will then appear and you can begin adding descriptive metadata for your files.

Using the "desktop uploader" 

Note: support for the uploader app will be phased out after 2020. The app will still work, but figshare won't be actively supporting it's use. FTP upload can be used instead.

  1. download the appropriate uploader for your operating system at
    OR on a Smithsonian computer you can find it in the Software Center (there should be a shortcut on your desktop.)
  2. when the tool finishes installing, run it. The default login option is for a personal account. You must change to Institutional account
    login screen for uploader
    Enter your SI email address for the username and in the second box do not put your SI network password. Instead of a password you will need to generate a personal token from within figshare and enter it there. 
    You only need to do this once.
  3.  While you are logged in to figshare go to the menu under your user icon in the upper right corner of the screen and choose Applications. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and in the Personal Token section click the button to Create Personal Token. A box will pop up with a secure token. 
  4. Copy and paste this token into the Access Token box on the uploader login screen.
  5. You should now be able to log in.

Using FTP

You must have an FTP client. The preferred client at SI is Filezilla.

After logging in to figshare, under your profile go to Applications

note your Username (number) and generate a password for use in the FTP client by clicking the Generate Password button.

FTP client settings:


Transfer mode: should be set to passive. (This is the default but it's best to double check.)

Username: Located on the Applications page

Password: Generated on the Applications page

If you generate a password, you need to store it safely as it will not be displayed in the interface. However, if you forget it you’ll always be able to generate a new one. In this case, the old password becomes unusable.

After connecting to the figshare FTP, you will need to create a directory to receive your file(s)

(warning) the directory name will become the title of your dataset. The character limit is 200 and can't include \ / : * ? " < > | ' { }
More information on FTP directory naming

After uploading file(s) you can rename the dataset and add necessary metadata by editing the item.

(info) if you need to delete files from your unpublished dataset, you can't delete them in the FTP client, that can only be done via the browser interface 

Using the API

If you have very large files ( >10 GB ea), many files to upload, or want to automate periodic transfer of files
please contact SI-RDM at SI dot EDU to arrange upload via the API.

If you are comfortable using REST APIs, you can find documentation here

From Github

If you have code, data, or related research outputs in Github that you'd like to publish as a zipped repository on Figshare,

  1. Connect your Github and figshare accounts
  2. check the box next to the repo you want to import. Once a green check mark appears next to the title of the repo, you're ready to add a description for it in figshare, and enable syncing (see Connect your Github account and import repos)
  3. click the green Add info link 
  4. fill in the metadata fields as you normally would (see below under Describe your data)

Reserve a DOI (no need to upload files)

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