The Leatherby Libraries is delighted to offer two open-access repositories, Chapman Figshare and Chapman University Digital Commons, to support Chapman scholars and researchers in sharing and preserving their research outputs. Both platforms are essential tools for ensuring that research is freely and openly accessible. However, they cater to distinct aspects of the research lifecycle due to differences in the research outputs they accommodate.

Figshare vs. Digital Commons: Choosing the Right Fit

The choice between Chapman Figshare and Chapman University Digital Commons hinges on the research output a researcher needs to accommodate. 

Chapman Figshare is a data repository specifically built to enable the preservation, sharing, and publication of research data and accompanying outputs. It houses data, documentation, and code to help Chapman scholars promote their work, meet funder and publisher requirements, and practice open and transparent research. “Data,” in this context, refers not only to spreadsheets and numbers but also to images, recordings, instrument outputs, and any other intermediate products produced or collected during scholarly activity. Data sets in Chapman Figshare are assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and marked for indexing in Google Scholar and Google Dataset Search. Furthermore, Chapman Figshare complies with funder requirements for making data openly accessible, storing it in perpetuity, and tracking versioning and statistics.

In Chapman Figshare, researchers deposit their datasets and accompanying documentation themselves. Our Library Research & Data Services (LRDS) team then checks to ensure it complies with the best data curation, organization, and documentation practices. For questions about data and Chapman Figshare, please contact the LRDS team at

Chapman University Digital Commons is our institutional repository designed to collect, preserve, and make publicly accessible all of the other scholarly and creative output of Chapman University faculty, students, staff, and affiliates. In short, if it is anything other than a dataset, then Chapman University Digital Commons is the best place! It includes research publications such as articles, book chapters, conference materials, dissertations and theses, student work, audiovisual materials, images, special collections, and primary source materials, all created or owned by members of the Chapman community.

Chapman University Digital Commons Homepage

The library uploads most works in Chapman University Digital Commons to ensure compliance with applicable copyright and intellectual property rules. If you have something to add to Chapman University Digital Commons, contact the Chair of Resources and Scholarly Communications, Kristin Laughtin-Dunker, at for assistance.

Developing Your Academic Dissemination Strategy and Boosting Research Visibility

The difference between Chapman’s two repositories comes down to the simple mantra: “Chapman Figshare for data, Chapman University Digital Commons for everything else!” Chapman Figshare houses things produced or collected during research; Chapman University Digital Commons houses all the end products. Items deposited in either receive careful review from librarians and guarantees of preservation and indexing. 

As these resources become increasingly crucial in the academic landscape, understanding their strengths and differences can help incorporate them into research planning, strengthen grant proposals, and show that you can comply with funder mandates for research awards. It can also help plan a strategy to prepare files for optimal preservation and sharing, ensure your work persists in the long term, and widen its reach. Much of the research proves that openly sharing your work also increases its impact, leading to improved and more diverse citations over time.

For additional details on Chapman Figshare and Chapman University Digital Commons, we invite you to explore the Digital Repositories at Chapman University LibGuide. For inquiries about the Leatherby Libraries’ repositories, please reach out to the Chair of Resources and Scholarly Communications, Kristin Laughtin-Dunker, at or to the Library Research & Data Services team at