Depositing and archiving
Depositing your research data in a data repository ensures that your data is stored safely, preserved for future use and re-use (if applicable), backed up regularly, and facilitates the discoverability of your data.
It is a requirement of many of the major funding organisations that you deposit your data in a repository/depository.
Types of data repositories
There are two main types of data repositories: domain/disciplinary and institutional.
Your funding organisation may require you to deposit your research data in an appropriate public archive. This is important in order to facilitate the validation of results and further work by other researchers.
The Digital Curation Centre has created a useful table providing coverage of the major funders' publication and data policies. This table also indicated what type of data support the funders provide.
In their 'Science as an Open Enterprise report' (pdf), published in June 2012, the Royal Society distinguishes between four tiers of digital repositories. They describe how each 'tier' requires different financial and infrastructural report:
- Tier 1 includes major international data initiatives such as the Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB)
- Tier 2 includes data centres and resources managed by national bodies such as the UK Research Councils or research funders such as the Wellcome Trust
- Tier 3 includes data curation activity that takes place at individual universities and research institutes, for example an institutional repository
- Tier 4 collation and storage of research data by individual researchers or research groups
Finding repositories for your discipline
If you want to find out what the expectations are of your funding organisation with regards to data archiving, then the JULIET service
may be able to help.
The JULIET service provides a listing of 105 Research funders' open access and research data archiving policies.
For each funder listed there is information on the following:
- Whether to archive
- What to archive
- When to archive
- Where to archive
- General conditions (for example, if you are unable to comply with your funders policy, you must state reasons in your final report)
- Policy links (a link to the open access and research data policy)
is a searchable directory of research data repositories. This is a useful tool for locating online repositories of research data. Databib currently lists more than 400 data repositories.
Are you interested in Open Data? If so the Open Access Directory
has an authoritative listing of repositories and databases for open data.
- This video is from Sharon McMeekin, Digital Archivist, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, provides information on how repositories and data centres can help researchers.
UoN Institutional Data Repository
The University hosts a data repository of multi-disciplinary research datasets produced at the University of Nottingham. University researchers who have produced research data associated with an existing or forthcoming publication, or which has potential use for other researchers, are invited to upload their dataset. For each published dataset, a Datacite DOI is issued by this service.
The University of Nottingham Research Data Management policy states:
1.5 The University will provide mechanisms and services for storage, backup, registration, deposit, retention and preservation of research data assets in support of current and future access, during and after completion of research projects.
1.6 Any data which is retained elsewhere, for example in an international data service or domain repository, should be registered with the University.
For further information, please email us.
National Data Services and Centres
In the UK, the national data centres play an important role in the data landscape and aim to ensure that data is stored and preserved and also provide valuable and authoritative support on data sharing and reuse.
However, not all funding bodies have a dedicated subject data centre service to support their researchers. For research that falls outside the remit of the existing subject data centres, the institution where the funded researcher is based is expected to maintain the data research outputs for the long-term.
The table below provides links to the eight UK Data Centres:
||Archaeology Data Service
||British Atmospheric Data Centre
||Chemical Database Service
||European Bioinformatics Institute
||Economic and Social Data Service
||National Cancer Data Repository
||National Geoscience Data Centre
||UK Solar System Data Centre