Assess the suitability of a data repository

How to assess a data repository for preserving your research data.

There are a number of things to consider when selecting a suitable repository to archive and publish your research data:

  • What type of data does the repository accept, and what is its subject focus?
  • Does the data repository already have a good reputation in this field, or is it recommended or required by your funder or journal?
  • Will the repository provide enough metadata to enable your data to be discovered and cited by other researchers?
  • Will the repository issue your data with a persistent identifier, such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or an accession number, that you can include in your data access statement? A search for archives in re3data allows you to tick a box restricting results to those that provide persistent identifiers.
  • Are access restrictions or embargoes permitted? Will the archive ensure that confidential or personal data are secured if that is required?
  • Do the data repository's terms and conditions fit with the University's intellectual property advice as defined in the Code of Good Research Conduct? Researchers should not use data repositories that require any transfer of rights without having this authorised by a senior member of the University.
  • What licences are available and do they comply with the University's Research Data Policy?
  • Is the archive established and well funded so that you can rely on it still preserving your data in 10 years time, or even longer?
  • If for whatever reason the data repository ceases to exist, is it possible to reclaim research data and place it elsewhere?

The Digital Curation Centre has produced a helpful checklist for evaluating data repositories.

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