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Research Data Management and Sharing

This guide addresses good practices for research data management and sharing.

How to Share Research Data

As described in the above video, research data sharing is important and funding agencies have thus adopted policies to require it.  Recommended practices of research data sharing are based on the FAIR Data Principles, which highlights the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability of the shared data.  Such practices include but are not limited to:

  • Deposit research data, together with auxiliary resources such as a code book and a data dictionary if applicable, in the data repository specified by the funder or in a data repository commonly used in your discipline
  • Choose a reliable data repository that assigns a digital object identifier (DOI) to the dataset and that is indexed by search engines
  • Include the ORCID ID(s) of the dataset creator(s) to mark the connection between the dataset and its creator(s)
  • Include a Readme file as part of the dataset to provide information about the research project and how to reuse the data
  • Use the metadata standard and controlled vocabulary for your discipline when creating metadata about the dataset
  • Provide copyright information (e.g., Creative Commons public domain dedication (CC0)) as required by the funder or apply an open license (e.g., Creative Commons Attribution license) to the dataset and its metadata to facilitate reuse
  • Specify how the dataset is related to other research product(s) (e.g., peer-reviewed articles, codes, etc.) by noting its/their persistent identifier(s) if applicable
  • Provide information regarding the availability of the dataset, especially when there are access restrictions on the dataset

If there is not an established or commonly used data repository for your discipline, Knowledge@UChicago may be the appropriate platform for you to share research data.  As the University of Chicago's institutional repository, Knowledge@UChicago is supported by the Library and IT Services collectively.  It preserves deposited items for long-term access.  It also assigns to each item a digital object identifier (DOI) that functions as a persistent link and enables the citation of the item in scholarly literature.  If you need assistance with sharing research data or if you would like more information about Knowledge@UChicago, feel free to contact the Library.

Last but not least, the following resources can help researchers better understand what to take heed of when sharing research data:

Sharing Research Data via Repositories

Research data repositories provide reliable access to, archive, and preserve datasets.  In some disciplines, there are already well-established research data repositories.  For example, the National Institutes of Health support a number of repositories for different types of biomedical research data.  Click the following icons to see the common research data repositories in the specified disciplines.

 

Researchers who wonder what options are available for their disciplines will find the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data.org) helpful.  They can browse re3data.org by discipline, data type, and country to discover an appropriate home for their datasets.  They can also find repositories where they can retrieve datasets for reuse.  Another useful resource is the list of data repositories maintained by the Open Access Directory.

If you need assistance with finding a suitable repository for research data sharing, feel free to contact the Library.