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There are several ways to temporarily restrict access to your data.

(warning) if your data can't be made public, figshare is not the platform you want to use.

Data - both files and metadata - can either be private (not published) or published

Within those two broad categories, data can also be embargoed or made confidential

  • For all options, you the uploader have access to your metadata and files via the editing window.
  • For all options, a DOI may be reserved.
  • For all options, you may generate a "private link" that enables another person to view and download the files and metadata for your dataset(s)
    (warning) Use Private Link SPARINGLY.

All options for restricting access to your item can be found at the bottom of the editing window, below the license metadata.


For all Published items

  • Embargo - hides the files and sets a time limit after which the files are publicly available. 
    • You can also embargo the entire item (metadata and files) ← WHAT? 
    • Metadata is visible to anyone, along with the length of the embargo and the reason for the embargo
    • When the embargo period is up, files are automatically made available.
  • Confidential - hides the files though metadata is visible

For all Private items

  • Metadata is only visible to you and your collaborators (for items that are part of projects.)

private (= not published)private link users

embargo (private)

embargo (published)

confidential (private)

confidential (published)

Metadata visible NoYesNoYes, includes when embargo will endNoYes

Files visible/


(info) What's the deal with the Private Link? if you choose "Generate private link" in the item editing window, anyone ANYWHERE with that link will be able to view your files regardless of their publishing status. You can disable this link by editing the item and clicking the red x next to Generate Private link.

(warning) Use Private Link SPARINGLY.


The option to set an embargo is at the bottom of the item editing window

(info) note that if you want to choose a specific date, the date appears in standard European format dd/mm/yyyy which is compatible with ISO 8601

  • You can apply the embargo to the files only or the entire item
  • what happens?
  • Set the period of embargo or choose a specific date
    • You can change the date at any time up to the end of the embargo period
  • You must provide a reason
  • You can disable the embargo by mousing over the small x to the right of the Apply embargo heading. The word disable will appear. next to the x.
  • When disabling the embargo, if the item has already been made public, the entire item will be available and visible to people.
  • Unless you have not published the item, or have made it Confidential, after the embargo end date or period is reached, the item will automatically be made public.


The option to make your item confidential is also at the bottom of the editing window

In the example above, the item has been published (is "public") but made confidential, and a private link has been generated to share it.

  • to make the files available, click the x to the right of Make file(s) confidential and save changes
  • to disable the private link click the x to the right of Generate private link