Digital data repositories, data archives or data centres accept, preserve and disseminate research data, often for a given community. Repositories may be organised by subject (e.g. structural chemistry data, gene sequence data, social science data) or by organisation such as a research funder.
Research data are typically submitted to the repository by the data creator or owner. The data repository then takes responsibility for preserving the data, managing any access restrictions and making information about the data (metadata) discoverable.
A growing number of data repositories and databases are available that archive research data from many subject areas. Unfortunately coverage of different disciplines varies - whilst the social sciences and biosciences are well supported, relatively few data repositories accept engineering data.
To help you find a suitable data repository a number of lists have been compiled:
To archive the data created by projects they support, some funders either run data centres or provide lists of recommended data repositories:
A number of journals support the use of Dryad, Figshare and Zenodo for data underlying scientific and medical literature. Nature's Scientific Data journal also maintains a list of recommended data archives.
There are a number of things to consider when selecting a suitable repository to archive and publish your research data:
If you are considering using an external data archive and require advice on its suitability, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
Jisc is funding a pilot service which will enable researchers to easily deposit data for publication, discovery, safe storage, long term archiving and preservation. This means that they are able to provide sustainable access to research data so it can be re-used.
Part of the project remit will be to make a business case for ongoing investment in the service.
Middlesex University is a pilot partner alongside a number of other UK universities.
Phase 1 in the project sees Middlesex implement and trial figshare for institutions - a data repository platform. Later phases will see the implementation of a preservation platform and integration work to enable interoperability.
If you have questions about our participation please get in touch via email@example.com
Or take a look at our Yammer group.