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Research Data

A guide for locating, managing, and sharing research data.

Considerations when selecting a repository for data deposit:


Does the Repository support FAIR principles?

FAIR means that data publishing platforms should enable data to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable. Many organizations, including the NIH, place considerable emphasis on data sharing that meets these principles.

  • Data is Findable if it is uniquely and persistently identifiable. Does the repository register your data to create a persistent identifier (such as a DOI)? Does the repository provide for rich metadata that will enable discovery? Is your research output and data indexed in Google or subject databases?
  • Data is Accessible if it can be understood and obtained by machines or humans, through a standard protocol that allows for authorization and authentication, where necessary.
  • Data Objects are Interoperable if metadata and data are machine-accessible and utilize shared terminology.
  • Data Objects are Re-Usable if the data can be automatically linked or integrated with other data sources, with proper citation of the source. Are data use agreements and/or licensing clearly presented, to allow depositors to state explicitly up front what uses they would be willing to allow?


What is the cost structure?

  • Are there ongoing costs after deposit? Have you accounted for these costs in your grant budget?
  • Does the repository meet a set of certification standards?
    Check to see if a repository follows certification standards such as the Core Trust Seal of Approval or the Trustworthy Repositories audit & Certification: Criteria and Checklist (TRAC). Although certification criteria are informative, repository certification is still in its infancy.Most repositories have not achieved certification.

*University of Iowa Libraries. Research Data Services Data Repositories. Retrieved August 27, 2019

Repository Listing

Domain Specific Repositories

NIH recommended domain repositories
BMIC has maintained a list of NIH-supported data repositories at this site for the last several years. Visit this list of both domain specific and generalist repositories for locating re-usable datasets as well as sharing your own data in compliance with NIH Data Sharing Policy.


Generalist Repositories

NIH recommended generalist repositories
Name Description

Figshare is an online, cloud-based, multi-disciplinary repository. The provide their own instructions on signing upuploading and publishing datasharing and citing data, and finding data already in the repository. They also have a variety of video tutorials available. 


The Open Science Framework is a tool that promotes the open sharing of research workflows. They create a variety of useful guides for beginners, as well as some more advanced tutorials



Dryad is a non-profit data repository offering both institutional members and individual researchers a secure location for research data storage.

  • Subject/Discipline: multidisciplinary, initially biosciences
  • Data Types/Data Status: Unstandardized file types found in most research. Final, from accepted peer-reviewed journal articles, or dissertations & books.
  • File Format/File Size:  any that follow accepted community standards and follow preservation-friendly file formats.
  • Deposit Size Limitations: excess storage fees for data packages totaling over 20GB
  • Accepted Metadata Schemas: any, so long as relevant details about data collection, processing, and analysis are included in a README document.
  • Persistent Identifiers provided: DOI
  • Levels of Access to Deposited Data: Unpublished, Published
  • Fees: yes, base charge per data package is $120
  • Data Curation Services (yes/no): yes
  • Where Indexed: DCIOADOpenDOARre3data

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is the world's largest archive of social science data, and is expanding into other disciplines as well. ICPSR provides Web access to documentation and data files for use with statistical software, such as R, SAS, SPSS, and Stata.

  • Subject/Discipline: social and behavioral sciences, with specialized collections in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism, and other fields.
  • Data Types/Data Status:  accepts quantitative, qualitative and GIS data; final project status
  • File Format/File Size:  SAS, SPSS, or Stata files preferred. ASCII and other file formats also accepted. 
  • Deposit Size Limitations:  no reported limit for curated ICPSR deposit; 2GB free self-deposit in OpenICSPSR 
  • Accepted Metadata Schemas:  Recommended: DDI metadata schema
  • Persistent Identifiers provided:  DOI
  • Levels of Access to Deposited Data:  Open; Secure Online Analysis (public or password-protected); Restricted Use Data Agreement; Virtual Data Enclave; Physical Data Enclave
  • Fees:  no fee for self-deposit of data up to 2GB in OpenICPSR; fee for fully-curated deposit
  • Data Curation Services (yes/no):  none for OpenICPSR; full OIAS-based curation services for curated deposit.
  • Where Indexed:  DCIOADre3data


Additional Resources