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Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of content can I upload to the BDR?

You can upload any content that is of enduring value for your research or scholarship.

What file formats does the BDR accept?

There are no restrictions on the file types that you can upload. Most common types of files (e.g., PDF, DOC, XML, JPG, etc.) will be recognized correctly by the system. File types that are not recognized will be stored and downloaded intact, but will show an “unknown file type” icon.

How much space do I have?

There is an initial 4GB limit for each account. If you have a project that requires more space, please email

How do get a permanent link to my item?

Once you have uploaded an item, view the description and click on “Link to this file” A permanent URL will then appear in the URL box of your browser. It will look something like this:

How do I manage access to my items?

In the “Set Privacy” options in the Upload Screen you may choose, Private (only I can see this), Brown (Everyone at Brown can see this), or Public (Everyone can see this). These settings can be changed by you at any time and will be instantly updated.

Later, you can change the permissions by expanding an item in the “My Items” tab and using the menu under the “Permissions” section.

Can I upload PDFs of articles I find interesting?

The purpose of the BDR is to capture digital assets produced by the Brown community so you should not upload articles, pdfs, images that are not created by you (unless they form part of a work you have written, such as a scholarly article). Citation management tools such as Zotero, Mendeley, Endnote and RefWorks are better suited for this purpose. For help in getting started with one of these, see:

What if I am the co-author of my paper?

All co-authors of a work share the same rights in that work, so you may self-archive your work in the BDR, just as they may do so in their institutional repositories, provided you/they are not violating any terms of a publication contract.

Can I upload and stream multimedia?

You can upload any media file under the size limit and download it again. If you have media that you need to stream from the repository, please contact for assistance.

Can I point to a file stored elsewhere?

Not yet. That will be coming in a future version.

Will my uploaded files show up in Google?

If you make them publicly available in the Privacy settings they will, otherwise no. If you remove an item from public view, a record of it may appear in Google until the next time Google crawls our website.

What if I have a large or complex data set?

Please contact for assistance.

Does the BDR have an API (Application Programming Interface)?

Yes! Campus developers can create their own applications using the BDR. Please contact for assistance and view the API Reference