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Selecting a Data Repository: Considerations

An effective way to make your data accessible is to store it in a repository. A repository can refer to any storage service that offers a mechanism for managing and storing digital content, where users can upload and download their data, and make it accessible and discoverable. 

Benefits of digital repositories include:

  • Raise the impact of your research by allowing you to make data accessible to other researchers and scholars
  • Keep your data safe and readable in the long-term
  • Meet funder or publisher requirements

NIH Data Management and Sharing Requirements

The new NIH Data Management and Sharing policy's section on Sharing Scientific Data includes information on how to select a repository, and a list of NIH-affiliated repositories.

Data Sharing Requirements from Publishers and Journals:

To make your data/supplements available, first make sure that they are properly organized and labeled, and then simply upload your data/supplements to a data repository. You can:

  • Upload your data/supplements to the UVA data repository LibraData. And/or,
  • Choose an alternative data repository. See below for a list of available repositories. 

General considerations when deciding where to deposit your data

  • What are your data sharing goals?
  • Cost
  • Is the repository appropriate for the type of data molecular structure, genomic data,etc.)?
  • Is it a general or discipline-specific repository?
  • Is the depository recommended by the publisher or funder?  If you are submitting your supplemental data in a journal article, you should check for the journal's data policy and data repositories specified therein
  • Is the repository recognized within the research field?
  • Who is the repository’s audience?
  • Does the repository provide a Digitial Object Identifier (DOI)?
  • Can the data be cited?
  • Will it be easy to find? Does it use metadata?
  • Does the repository permit download and re-use of data?

Help

General and Cross-Discipline Data Repositories

UVA Data Repositories

You can deposit your data in UVA's data repository, LibraData, and also in a generalist or discipline-based repository (see below). 

NIH-affiliated Repositories

In general, NIH does not endorse any particular repository. Overall, NIH encourages researchers to select the repository that is most appropriate for their data type and discipline. This list of NIH-supported repositories provides examples of suitable repositories.

General Data Repositories 

These Generalist Repository Ecosystem Initiative (GREI) includes six established generalist repositories that will work together to establish consistent metadata, develop use cases for data sharing, train and educate researchers on FAIR data and the importance of data sharing, and more:

  • Dryad - well-established repository led by a nonprofit organization that (note there are Data Publishing Charges)
  • Dataverse - note that UVA's respository, LibraData, is a Dataverse
  • Figshare - upload any file format and accepts scholarly output including figures, datasets, media, papers, posters, presentations and filesets. 
  • Mendeley Data - a free cloud-based service run by Elsevier. 
  • Open Science Framework
  • Vivli
  • Zenodo - a free cloud-based service based on the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN's) data repository platform.

Discipline-Specific Repositories

Check funder or journal requirements for recommended or preferred repositor/ies 

As above, NIH does not endorse specific repositories, but does provide a list of NIH-supported repositories provides examples of suitable repositories. 

Submitting Data to the NCI Cancer Research Data Commons (CRDC) and other NIH Repositories  

Repository Directories and Lists

  • re3data is a global registry of research data repositories, you can search this database to find the best repository for your data
  • OpenDOAR  global directory of Open Access repositories and their policies
  • Scientific Data and PLOS journals list discipline-specific repositories and cross-disciplinary repositories

Sample Discipline-Specific Repositories

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