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Data Management

Data Management Guide for Faculty, Researchers, and Students.

Using the Open Science Framework (OSF)

JMU is an institutional partner with OSF, a collaborative platform where you can store, work with, and share non-sensitive data. This is an especially good solution if you are working with collaborators at other institutions or students. Visit the OSF guide for more details.


ACCORD (Assuring Controls Compliance of Research Data) gives researchers access to a single high-performance computing system capable of processing and storing sensitive data.

ACCORD is project-based, which means that investigators request access to the platform, create a project and populate it with co-investigators, import data, and then create and use disposable computing environments to perform their computational research.

Read more about how to get started with ACCORD on its overview site.

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

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
  • 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. 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. The Office of Research Integrity also has data security guidance that is especially helpful for those working with sensitive data. You can also 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)


Several options exist for you to share your data in a repository. You could explore subject-based repositories through the re3data registry or, if your data is interdisciplinary or from a domain without a specific repository, you may wish to deposit in a general repository (see PDF version below). Your liaison librarian can help you identify the most appropriate venue for your needs.

Data Organization