Help with submission

IRIS is a free and public resource. It accepts instruments, materials, stimuli, data, and data coding and analysis tools used for research into languages, including first, second, and beyond, and signed language learning, multilingualism, language education, language use, and language processing. It also holds postprints of journal articles and book chapters of the above research.

What can I upload to IRIS?

Scope -- IRIS accepts materials from all substantive/theoretical and methodological traditions of language sciences.

Type of material -- IRIS accepts datasets and analysis code and instruments, materials, and stimuli that are used to elicit data for research into first, second, and foreign languages. IRIS now also hosts postprints of publications in the language sciences.

Publication status -- Only materials from studies that have been published or accepted for publication can be uploaded.

Why should I take the time to upload my materials?

There are a few reasons. First, providing other researchers with access to your materials, instruments, and data allows for inspection by peers, which inspires confidence in our work. Second, by making you materials available, others can more readily build on them. Consequently, your research is more likely to have a greater impact on the field. Also, subsequent replications, which are in many ways the foundation for scientific advancement, are much more likely. And third, the language sciences community is just that: a community. We believe that we will be more efficient and effective by working together. The IRIS Database provides a platform for such efforts.

Can I upload the materials for my doctoral dissertation / thesis?

Yes, materials from a doctoral dissertation or thesis are welcome. Materials from MA level work, though often very useful, are not eligible for inclusion.

Can I upload data or analysis protocols to IRIS?


When in the publication process can I upload my materials?

Once a study has been accepted for publication, the materials can be submitted to IRIS. Doing so earlier rather than later will often allow you to state in the manuscript that your materials are available on IRIS. However, materials from older publications are always welcome as well!

Can I upload materials for a study that has not been accepted or published yet?

No. Only materials from studies that have been published or accepted for publication can be uploaded.

Can I provide a link directly to my materials on IRIS?

Yes. Once you upload your materials, you will be able to get a unique URL for that record. This url address can then be linked from your website, from within an article or anywhere else.

How long does it take to upload my materials?

Uploading instruments or other materials to IRIS usually takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on how much information you want to provide in the “optional” fields. If you don’t have time, you can also simply send your materials to along with a full reference to the publication(s) in which they were used and any other information you’d like to be included in the entry.

I have several files; can I submit them all together?

If they are all essentially component parts of the same data collection tool, for example, several different picture files that were all used in a single spot-the-difference task, then you need only make one submission to IRIS - upload your files together, and complete the form to provide information on your instrument as a whole. IRIS can handle a mix of file types in the same submission. If you have separate instruments of a similar type, or used in the same publication(s), such as a grammaticality judgement task and a story-completion task used in the same study, then you will need to submit them one at a time. These are simply guidelines - ultimately, of course, you are free to separate and submit your files/instruments as you see fit. Please do not hesitate to contact IRIS for further help and support.

Can I edit my entry at a later date?

Yes, this is why you need to login when you make your submission. If you previously submitted items before December 2022, please contact the IRIS Team and we can help associate those submissions with your login. For further information about login, please see the login help page.

What file formats are accepted?

IRIS can accept audio, text, image and video files, in most common file formats or extensions, as well as specialist software scripts and links to internet sources. You will have the opportunity to specify any proprietary software or software platform that may be necessary in order to use your instrument. If you experience a problem when selecting files to upload, this might be because your web browser is only displaying certain types of file by default. Please ensure you select 'All files' when using the select files box. If you are experiencing technical problems uploading your file, or have a particularly large file to submit (1GB or more), please contact the IRIS team for assistance.

How many files can I upload?

IRIS will accept multiple individual files. If the file sizes are large we would recommend uploading zipped files. It is not possible to upload an unzipped folder, to upload folders you will need to compress them first.

Is there a way to indicate that a set of materials was used for more than one study?

Yes, you can add multiple references to the same materials record. This can be done either when you first upload or at a later date.

My instrument uses or makes reference to other published work - do I need to acknowledge this?

You may wish to acknowledge other researchers who developed an earlier version of your instrument that you have built on/adapted in some way. There is a dedicated section on the submission form that allows you to do this. Likewise, your instrument may have been created using text, pictures or other material from another published source (part of a school textbook, for example, or an online video). In this case, please confirm that you have sought permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material. The IRIS team is also willing to assist with such requests. If you have any enquiries related to permissions, please contact us. For more information on intellectual property issues, read our short guide to copyright.

Is it possible to find out when someone downloads my materials?

Yes! If you are interested in finding out when your materials are downloaded, you simply check a box during the upload process that indicates this preference.

Can I find out who has downloaded my instruments?

No. When people download materials IRIS requires them to leave their status (student, academic, teacher etc), and, if they wish, they can leave their email contact. However, the only information we provide to uploaders are their download statistics. This is in line with the principles of open access.

How can I see my download statistics?

You can see your download statistics under the "My IRIS" tab when you are logged into IRIS.

Can I get feedback on my instrument?

You will be able to choose whether or not you receive user feedback. Feedback can be posted on IRIS, so that others may benefit, or you may prefer to receive comments directly to your email inbox without them being on IRIS. Or you can choose not to get any feedback, of course.

If someone uses my materials, will the original work be cited?

Yes, because downloaders have to agree, on downloading, that they will cite the materials if they use them; this is the Creative Commons license that all materials are held under, as with most open repositories. That is, the licenses for all materials make ‘Attribution’ (i.e. citation) a requirement. Researchers who use others’ materials may also contact the original authors; this might be collegial, and indeed helpful to those who are using the materials, as it might inform the study or avoid duplication of effort - but there is no requirement to do so.

How can my materials be used?

All materials are held under a Creative Commons licence that allows others to change or adapt them - this was one of the rationales behind IRIS, so that partial and conceptual replications etc. are facilitated. The licences also make ‘Attribution’ (i.e. citation) a requirement and prevent others from using the materials for commercial purposes. The two different licenses available have just one slight difference: The default (already selected option) is ‘Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike’, meaning that others must give subsequent adaptations the same licence. This was the case for 1335 out of 1346 materials held at the time of writing. The other is ‘Attribution-Noncommerical’ which means that subsequent adaptations could be given a different licence.

Will sharing my materials lead to misuse of the materials?

We believe that greater transparency will only increase and improve our individual and collective efforts. More concretely, we know of zero instances of misuse of materials that have been uploaded to IRIS. And we find this record highly unlikely to change for a few reasons considering: (a) the generally very collegial community in language sciences; (b) many journals and universities now use plagiarism detection software, and so uncited use of your materials would be picked up in this way; and (c) you can, if you wish, add notes to accompany your materials or upload additional documents that provide guidance about using your materials.

Will sharing my materials lead to my planned next project being ‘scooped’?

Research effort will be enhanced by working collaboratively with increased methodological transparency. We know of no instances of “scooping” of research ideas based on materials that have been uploaded to IRIS and we think this will continue in light of the very collegial language sciences community. Also, it is highly unlikely that your materials would be used in exactly the same way as you were planning to use them again. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, we believe that it is important to make methods transparent for every published study (rather than after a series of studies has been completed, possibly over several years).

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