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Preparing content for deposit

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Find out about our three file upload options and learn about our best practice recommendations for preparing your content for deposit.

File upload options

The self-deposit web app for the SDR has three options for uploading your files for deposit. Learn more about these options below and when to choose each one.

Drag & drop

For up to 250 files in a flat list (i.e. no subdirectories) and that total < 10GB, the easiest way to upload your files is to drag and drop them into the file upload section of the web form.

Zip it up

For content < 10GB and fewer than 25,000 files that has a directory structure, you can zip everything up into a single file, choose the option to upload a single zip file, and then drag that file into the file upload section of the web form. Once you save the form, the zip file will be automatically unpacked and you'll see all your files in their appropriate folders. This same structure will be displayed on the PURL page.

Use Globus

If you have more than 10GB of total content with fewer than 25,000 files, you should choose our third file upload option that uses Globus. This option works particularly well if your content is located on Oak, Sherlock, or Stanford's Google Drive. See more details below on special considerations for large deposits and check out our documentation on the process.

Please contact us before you start file transfer if you are planning to deposit 1 TB or more.

Best practices for your content

File formats

There are no specific file format requirements for deposit in the SDR; any file type can be deposited. 

SDR staff can advise on "archival-quality" file formats and data encoding specifications that are preferred for preservation, as well as other digital preservation best practices.

Zip it if you have:

  • Files with long file names or paths (over ~500 characters)
  • Empty directories
  • Files with non UTF-8 characters in the file names
  • Deeply nested directories (more than 5-6)
  • A structure that is semantically important
  • File permissions that are important

Hierarchical data structures

The SDR supports the deposit of data that is organized into nested folders or subdirectories. Once deposited, the data are then displayed as a hierarchy on the PURL pages. We do recommend that you avoid deep nesting (i.e. more than 5-6 layers of subdirectories).

Both our zip file upload option and the Globus upload option support file hierarchies. The basic drag and drop option for smaller volumes of content does not.

File size limits

Let us know before you upload more than 1 TB or 25,000 files at one time.

No individual file should be > 4TB.

There are no strict upper limits to the total size of an SDR deposit, but we do offer some guidance to improve your deposit experience based on which file upload method you choose.

Uploading via the web

For uploading and downloading content using a web browser, 8-10 GB is a practical upper size limit. In addition, the flat file list option is limited to 250 files. Your experience may vary depending on number of files, sizes of each file, available network bandwidth, etc. 

Considerations for large deposits

For deposits over 10GB, our online deposit application includes an integration with Globus that allows users to transfer content files to us for automated deposit into the SDR. Transfer times for large content even with this method can still be slow, so we recommend starting your deposit a minimum of several days to a week before you need it completed. Some very large deposits (1 TB or larger) may still require staff intervention and a minimum of 20 business days for processing and publishing to a persistent URL (PURL). Contact us if you have questions or need assistance using the Globus option to deposit to the SDR.

And always contact us before you start file transfer if you are planning to deposit 1 TB or more.