OSFOpen Science Framework (OSF), provided from the Center for Open Science (COS), is a free and open source project management tool that supports researchers throughout their entire project lifecycle in open science best practices. OSF promotes open, centralized workflows by enabling capture of different aspects and products of the research. As a flexible repository, it can store and archive research data, protocols, and materials.


Compare OSF to other options in the Repository Matrix.

Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions about the content of this page. Last updated: 2020-12-11

Features & Specifications

  • Data Size and Format

    Public Projects Storage Limit: 50 GB

    Private Projects Storage Limit: 5 GB

    File Size Limit: 5GB/file upload limit for native OSF Storage. There is no limit imposed by OSF for the amount of storage used across add-ons connected to a given project.

    Data Types and Formats Hosted: Any type of file can be uploaded. Most files will render directly in the File Viewer. For example, if the file is an image, you can zoom in and out on details.

  • Data Licensing

    Waiver: Users can choose from a long list of licenses. Users can also define a license in a .txt file and uploads to the project.

  • Data Attribution and Citation Tools

    In addition to its own unique, persistent URLs, OSF offers DOIs for your public research. Researchers can generate DOIs for public projects and registrations. DOIs point to the current version of the project or registration. OSF does not support DOI versioning at this time.

  • User Access Controls

    Option to Share:

    • View only link with ability to anonymize contributor list

    • Managed access with request access and private sharing setting

      • Contributors are a group of 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. 

      • You can also assign different permissions to contributors in different components of a project:

        • Read

        • Read+Write

        • Administrator (Admin)

  • Data Access Tools

    Search: Free Text Search functionality provided. Tags are automatically indexed by search for public content.

    Download: You can download individual or multiple Quick Files to save and view them on your computer. Files stored on OSF can also be downloaded locally through the API.

    Proprietary File Format Access: None

    Data Analysis: None

  • Cost


  • Other Features


    • Projects can be customized easily to fit a variety of needs, from small projects to large research collaborations
    • Excellent tool for promoting best practices around reproducibility, transparency, and research data management
    • Ability to assign a DOI to a project and register projects
    • Ability to connect to other tools and accounts, such as institutional Dropbox
    • Provides a way to collaborate with colleagues at other institutions
    • OSF is free to use, and has freely available documentation and support


    • May be confusing to navigate the various components and locating particular documents or wiki pages
    • The wiki feature has limited formatting options
    • Whether or not the OSF is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)–compliant depends upon an institution’s security and privacy practices