Open Science Framework

Create a project and provide the outputs in an open access repository

OSF structures

Projects are the largest form of categorization that OSF supports. A project can be an experiment, a lab group, or a paper—anything that has contributing members and files or explanatory texts/images.

Components are sub-projects below the top-level project.

Contributors include the persons collaborating in a project, component, registration, or preprint.

Creating your OSF Account

The University of Arkansas is not currently affiliated with OSF; however, you may still sign up for an OSF account by entering your personal information or by registering with your ORCID ID (recommended). Just go to and select either the Get Started or Sign Up bottons.

                                                                Sample sign-in screen for OSF


You will receive a confirmation email from the OSF at the email address you used to create your account. Click the link in the email to confirm your email address.

If you do not have an OSF account but are added to an OSF project, you will receive an email from OSF notifying you that you have been added as a contributor to a project after which you may claim your account.


Contributors are collaborators within a project, component, registration, or preprint.

Projects and components have individual contributor lists and permissions levels, so you can control who can access and modify your work.

If you're an administrator, you can make your project private or public and alternate between the two settings.

Files in your Project

Each project and component can have its own set of files, allowing you to organize your files into categorical or hierarchical groups, such as datasets, article files, or illustrations. Each file has a unique, persistent URL so that it can be cited or linked to individually.

Individual files uploaded to OSF Storage must be 5GB or less. You may also add files from other cloud-based storage locations - not just OSF but also Dropbox and other services. Files larger that 5 GB can be stored in a connected external storage collection.

After files are loaded...

The "File Detail" page will appear, where you can read, download, and share (if public) the selected file. If you have write-access to the project, you can additionally add tags, check out, and delete the file from this page. The checkout feature prevents multiple contributors from editing a file at once. Admin or read+write permissions are required to check out files.

OSF has built-in version control and retains all copies of a file added to OSF.

OSF further provides access to versions of files stored on third-party storage providers. Some storage providers limit the number of previous versions saved; check with your storage provider to understand their policies and practices related to versioning.