Planning for data management is an important step for securing grants and providing long term and reliable access to your data. Many granting agencies and organizations require a data management plan be included in grant applications. Please refer to the Guide for Data Management Plans at the Office of Research site.
Data Curation – Repositories
As part of your plan for preserving and disseminating data, you may choose to deposit some or all of it in a digital repository or archive. Depositing your data in a repository makes it more accessible to other scholars and allows your rely on the data management expertise of those who maintain the repository.
If you decide to use a data repository as part of your data management, consider:
- Your needs and the requirements of your institution or funder.
Is long-term preservation of your data important to you? Are you interested in making your data available to other researchers in your field and/or the general public?
- Copyright, intellectual property, and privacy.
Would public deposit of your data in a repository be compatible with your institution, funder, and publishers’ policies for data dissemination? Does your research involve potentially sensitive information, such as valuable intellectual property or information about human subjects, that will need to be carefully managed?
- The intended audience(s) for your data, and where they might easily access the data.
For example, if your data is primarily useful for other researchers in your discipline, is there a discipline-specific repository that is widely used by your colleagues?
- The repository’s technical specifications.
Does the repository store the type and volume of data you need to store? How do they handle metadata –information about your data such as authorship, version, and subject – that makes it easier to find and use your data? What about backups and secure storage? If you deposit your data in the repository, will people be able to find it using Google, WorldCat, or other search tools?
- The repository’s administrative requirements for depositing data.
Who may deposit data in the repository? Are there fees? Do their policies for access, security, and intellectual property meet your needs?
- The repository’s potential for long-term stability.
Who maintains the repository, and what type of administrative and financial plans do they have for providing access to the data in the coming years? As technology changes and data formats become obsolete, does the repository have a process in place to migrate old data to newer formats?
The repositories listed here are only a few examples:
- NC DOCKS: You can deposit research data in NC DOCKS, along with full text articles, audio recordings, dissertations, and other formats. All formats are indexed by Google and are freely available to scholars and researchers world-wide. Faculty interested in NC DOCKS should review this information and contact Allan Scherlen for details.
- Databib: Find a Data Repository: Databib is a searchable catalog of research data repositories. You can search for a depository by keyword, or browse a list of repositories by discipline. Most listed repositories are in the U.S., U.K., or Canada.
- DRYAD: Dryad is an international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed articles in the basic and applied biosciences. Dryad enables scientists to validate published findings, explore new analysis methodologies, repurpose data for research questions unanticipated by the original authors, and perform synthetic studies. Dryad is governed by a consortium of journals that collaboratively promote data archiving and ensure the sustainability of the repository.
- GitHub: A tool for development, collaboration and sharing of data.
- Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR): We are an ICPSR member and some PIs have deposited their research data with ICPSR. ICPSR maintains a data archive of more than 500,000 files of research in the social sciences.
For questions about Data Management and Curation, please contact Pam Mitchem at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-262-7422.