Skip to Main Content

Research Data Management

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.

Released in May 2022 by OSTP, the report Guidance on 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. 

Finding Data Repositories

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

Safeguarding the data refers to 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.

UDSpace, UD's Institutional Repository

The Institutional Repository (aka UDSpace) consists of University of Delaware original research in digital form, including the University’s theses (2009 to the present) and dissertations (2014 to the present), articles, working papers, technical reports, conference papers, books, data sets, images, and more.

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 search by selecting a community and adding a keyword from the title, author, subject, or filter by publication date.