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Research Data Management

This guide provides best practices and resources for managing your research data for any discipline.

Data Repositories

Data Repositories 

Research Data Repositories are for the long-term archiving and preservation of research data. They are designed to manage, share, access, and archive researchers' datasets. They allow for the examination, review, transparency, and validation of the results of research by peers and the public. They encourage reuse, understanding, analysis, and sharing by anyone globally by facilitating discovery and proper citation. They usually provide deposited datasets with a unique identifier - a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), an URN (Uniform Resource Name), or Handle System.  Data repositories may cater to a specific discipline, a region, a type of data, specific formats, or accept many different types of data. There is no one-size-fits-all for research data repositories. The re3data catalog is a global catalog of data repositories, and is the best way of identifying ones for your data. 

Selecting a Data Repository

Best Practice for selecting a data repository:
The UVa Library Data Management Consulting Group recommends that you deposit your data in a discipline-specific repository for maximum impact and discovery in your field. If your discipline does not have a suggested repository, consider depositing it in a general data repository. We can help you locate one of these. Data redundancy is important, and placing your data in multiple venues is a good idea, both for future access and maximum dissemination. The University of Virginia recommends that you also deposit your scholarly communication and data in the UVa Institutional Repository, Libra.

re3data is the Registry of Research Data Repositories. It lists over 2500 repositories. You can search or browse by subject, content type, or country. Each repository description includes information about types of content, access policies, subjects, certificates & standards, the URL, who manages it, and keywords. re3data uses icons to indicate repository attributes to aid in searching for the best fit for you and your data.

The Subject-Specific Data Repositories tab lists some examples of repositories by discipline.     

Common Questions

So how long do I need to keep my research data after the completion of my project? Many researchers never want to delete any of their data, but proper data storage costs money and time. UVa Policy requires that it be kept for a minimum of 5 years.  UVA policy RES-002, “Policy: Laboratory Notebook and Recordkeeping,” states that "retain all raw data in laboratory notebooks (or other appropriate format) for at least five years after completion of the research project (i.e., publication of a paper describing the work, or termination of the supporting research grant, whichever comes first) unless required to be retained longer by contract, law, regulation, or by some reasonable continuing need to refer to them.") - explain if you'll be preserving the data longer than five years. Funders may have different time frames. Some suggest 3 years, others require 10 years.