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Data Management for the Sciences

A guide to best practices for management of research data, including links to data services from the University of California.

Why Share Data?

Sharing data is now encouraged by major funding agencies, and many journals require it as a prerequisite for publication. In addition to funder requirements, data sharing is important because it can lead to a broader impact for your research, facilitate advances in science, and facilitate reproducibility. Sharing your data in a subject or institutional repository makes access to and reuse of your data easier.

Why Deposit Data?

You can share your data easily by emailing it to a colleague or posting a file on a website. Unfortunately, informal methods of data sharing make it difficult for other researchers to find your data. Depositing your data in an archive or repository will facilitate its discovery and preservation, and facilitate proper citation. Repositories are maintained by many academic discipline communities, by funding agencies to provide access to funded research, and by academic institutions to protect community member research.

Source: from the University of New Hamsphire

Repository Directories

The following maintain lists of data repositories:

  • global registry of research data repositories that covers repositories from different academic disciplines. As of 2015, it is a merged listing of re3data and DataBib, managed by DataCite.
  • Open Access Directory Data Repositories: a list of repositories and databases for open data. The list is arranged alphabetically, by subject.
  • NIH Data Repositories: a table listing descriptions of, links to, and information on submission and access guidelines for NIH data repositories.
  • Share: provides a comprehensive registry of research across academic disciplines.

Selected Science Repositories

  • BIRN - Biomedical Informatics Research Network: a national initiative to advance biomedical research through data sharing and online collaboration. Funded by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), BIRN provides data-sharing infrastructure, software tools, strategies and advisory services.
  • Climate Data: Weather, temperature, carbon, water, soil and all other kinds of climate related open data. Including (but not limited to) data about: the atmosphere, weather, air quality, temperature, the ocean, rivers, water levels, water quality, carbon emissions, pollution, soil erosion, and biodiversity.
  • Dryad: Dryad is an international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed articles in the basic and applied biosciences.
  • Extragalactic Database: NASA's archive of data for over 3 million extragalactic objects.
  • GitHub: free public repositories, collaborator management, issue tracking, wikis, downloads, code review, graphs and much more. Hosts developer libraries such as Ruby on Rails, IronRuby, jQuery, Perl
  • SIMBAD: the SIMBAD astronomical database provides basic data, cross-identifications, bibliography and measurements for astronomical objects outside the solar system.
  • Zenodo: An open dependable home for the long-tail of science, enabling researchers to share and preserve any research outputs in any size, any format and from any science. Funded by European organizations.
  • The Cancer Imaging Archive: contains imaging data organized by cancer type and anatomical site.

General Repositories

Data Citation Index

The Data Citation Index on the Web of Science provides a single point of access to quality research data from repositories across disciplines and around the world. Read more information about the coverage and selection process of the data citation index here.