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Data Management: Sharing & Storage

Data Management Guide for Faculty, Researchers, and Students. The Data Services Coordinator can help you with your data management plans, teach workshops on best practices, and help identify repositories to find and deposit data.

Why Share Your Data?

Sharing & Storage

Proper preservation of the data ensures the integrity of the data remains intact for future use and easy access.  

Reasons to share your data:

  • Accelerates research and provides greater exposure to data
  • Increases possibility of future research collaborations
  • Potential increased citation of source papers (Piwowar, 2007)
  • Increases return on research investment by allowing continued re-use of data (funding agencies value this)
  • Funding agencies and journals (e.g. NatureScience) are now implementing data sharing requirements
  • Encourages scientific enquiry and debate
Questions to consider before sharing your data:
  • How much and which aspects of your data will you share?  (Raw data? Analyzed?  Both?)
  • Are there privacy or security issues with your data and how will they be resolved? (Anonymization? Informed consent? Controlled access?)
  • When will you make the data available? (As soon as it's collected? Upon project completion? After publication?)
  • With whom will you share your data? (Your department? Your institution? Others in your field? Everyone?)

How to share your data?

Ways in which data can be shared:

  • Deposit in a subject-specific or institutional repository 
  • Submit as supplementary information with an article to be published in a journal
  • Make available on a website
  • On departmental servers
  • Informal peer-to-peer sharing via email or removable media

Where to store your data?

There are a number of options to choose from when deciding where to store your data. Deciding which option is best for you may require some thought. It is recommended that your data be saved and stored on a minimum of two options. Contact JMU IT to determine if JMU Central Servers are the right solution for your data storage needs. You can also check out the tools in the Tools & Resources box below to find a subject-based repository.  Other options:

  • External hard drive(s)
  • Departmental server or storage network
  • Third Party Cloud storage space (Use with caution! Patentable or Confidential Information should not be stored in the cloud)
  • Portable media (flash drives, DVDs, CDs. Use with caution! These are fragile media

Tools & Resources