Skip to main content

Funding Agency Requirement

Before choosing a repository, review the funding agency data sharing policy and the NOFO to determine if you must use a designated repository for sharing your research data. If a repository is not specified, then the next step is to identify the most appropriate repository for your data needs.

Evaluating a Repository

There are many repositories available for sharing and preserving research data. We recommend reviewing a repository to ensure it meets the following criteria:

  1. The repository complies, as much as possible, with the FAIR Guiding Principles. This means that the data in their holdings are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.
  2. At minimum, the repository generates persistent identifiers (e.g., DOIs, handles) to ensure that the metadata record is always available.
  3. A sustainability, digital preservation, and/or retention policy is available. Reach out to staff to ask questions about long-term preservation, accessibility, and continuity of service for the repository if this is unclear.
  4. If it is a domain-specific repository, make sure that your identified data type(s) are appropriate and in-scope with the repository’s current data collections. This is important not only for supporting the preservation of your data, but also to ensure increased visibility of your research data within the appropriate community. If a domain-specific repository does not exist for your data, a generalist data repository like UNC Dataverse may be the best fit for your research data.

Further guidance on evaluating and identifying a trustworthy repository is available in the RDM Guidance: Identify a Trustworthy Repository.

Find Your Repository

The Repository Finder (Coming Soon) is a useful tool in identifying an appropriate repository for your research outputs.

The NIH Repositories for Sharing Scientific Data lets researchers search by keyword or institute/center. They also have guidance for Selecting a Data Repository which describes the desirable characteristics a data repository should have to meet the requirements of the NIH data management and sharing policy.

The Registry of Research Data Repositories (RE3) is another useful database for searching for domain-specific data repositories. RE3 allows users to search by keyword or browse by content type, subject, or country. Results will display whether the repository offers licensing, open access to data, and uses persistent identifiers.