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 that it will be found by others looking for data and that care will be taken to preserve the data over time.
There are thousands of data repositories, often for a specific subject or type of data, and many organized by universities or scholarly organizations.
Released in May 2022 by OSTP, the report Desirable Characteristics of Data Repositories for Federally Funded Research aims to improve consistency across Federal departments and agencies in the instructions they provide to researchers about selecting repositories for data resulting from Federally funded research. This document contains clearly defined desirable characteristics for two classes of online research data repositories: a general class appropriate for all types of Federally funded data—including free and easy access—and a specific class that has special considerations for the sharing of human data, including additional data security and privacy considerations.
For subject data repositories, please also visit your discipline's research guide or contact your subject librarian directly. Note that some subjects may not have discipline specific repositories.
Safeguarding data refers to the steps taken to minimize 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 the data 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.
The UDSpace Institutional Repository collects and disseminates research material from the University of Delaware. The information is organized by Communities, corresponding to administrative entities such as college, school, department, and research center, and then by Collection. Select a Community to browse its collections, or perform a keyword search and then filter by author, subject, or date.
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.