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Research Data Management

Resource for best practices in managing, storing, and sharing your research data

Repositories

Data repositories are great for storing and promoting data.  There are hundreds of repositories with options available for all datasets.

Preserving your data

Long-term preservation is the final stage in the data life cycle but requires some planning and maintenance from the project onset.  Different from storage, preservation may require data to be migrated from format to format as newer storage models emerge while retaining its integrity.  Some things to consider when developing a preservation plan include:

  • Funder/journal requirements
    • Some funders and journals have preservation requisites
  • Longevity of preservation
    • How long should it be kept?
  • Preservation responsibility
    • Who will maintain and/or fund preservation?
  • Documentation
    • Is there sufficient documentation and context so that others can use the data with out you?
  • File format
    • As previously covered, are the files in sustainable formats?
  • Repository
    • Will you be using a repository? If not, what is the shelf-life of the hardware being used?

Image by Elco van Staveren, from Flickr

Sharing your data

It is increasingly common for major funding agencies and many journals to require data sharing as part of their requirements for funding or publication.

In addition to meeting publisher and funder requirements, sharing data also:

  • Increases transparency
  • Improves reproducibility & reliability
  • Facilitates research expansion
  • Creates opportunities for collaboration
  • Increases impact by increasing citation rates

Repositories exist to collect and preserve scholarly data.  Depositing your data in a repository helps facilitate not only preservation, but also discovery and citation.  Just keep in mind that not every subject repository will accept your data nor are all repositories suited for long-term preservation.

Image by Ansonlobo, from Wikimedia Commons