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Research Data Management: Data Repositories

This guide is intended to provide information on preparing a data management plan.

What are Data Repositories?

A 'data repository' is simply a place to store datasets for the long-term. Using a repository or archive to store your data (versus simply hosting it on your website) facilitates its discovery and preservation, ensuring both that it will be found by others looking for data and that care will be taken to preserve the data over time.

There are many thousands of data repositories, often for a specific subject or type of data, and many organized by universities or scholarly organizations.

Subject Specific Data Repositories

Safeguarding data

Safeguarding the data refers to steps taken to minimise the risk of loss or destruction of data. Data loss can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Software or hardware failure
  • Viruses, hacking or theft of physical media
  • Human error (such as losing a USB thumb drive or accidentally deleting files)

Backups should occur at regular intervals as well as when major changes are made. If data are not backed up automatically, alternative arrangements will need to be put in place to ensure data are backed up regularly.

An additional measure to safeguard thedata is to make multiple redundant copies and distribute them in different physical locations. However, redundant copies represent a point in time and will not reflect updates to the data. Copies should be made regularly.



University of Delaware Library Institutional Repository (UDSpace)

Open Data

Open Data is part of the broader Open Access movement, promoting the idea that research, especially publicly funded research, should be made widely available.  This allows for more the more rapid development and dissemination of knowledge.

Open Data is data that is permanently and freely available for the world to use, allowing the maximum exposure and benefit from current research.