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Data Management : Sharing and Re-use

Creative Commons

By using a Creative Commons license, authors can attach simple terms and conditions of re-use to open access material. Unlike the traditional "all rights reserved" of copyright law, CC allows for "some rights reserved". CC licensing is becoming standard practice across many disciplines for sharing and publishing scholarly material. 

Creative Commons can also help you dedicate your data to the public domain, removing all copyright restrictions. 

Data Repositories

Data repositories can be a one-stop shop for data management, by providing both storage and sharing, and facilitating effective organization and description of research data. 

The following are directories of open data repositories: 

Selected data repositories: 

  • Dataverse: The Dataverse Network, created by Harvard, is open to all researchers to submit data. All file formats are supported by the Dataverse Network with a maximum size of 2GB per file.
  • ICPSR: A social science data curation organization with an excellent record of data management.

Sharing & Re-Use: Questions to Consider

Making your data accessible to other researchers is one of the primary goals of data management. Increasingly, there are many online repositories that can host your data. Before you decide on a repository or method of sharing, consider what data will be shared and whether you need to place any restrictions or conditions on the data. 

Questions to Consider: 

  • How will you make the data available? 
  • Who is responsible for managing and controlling the data? 
  • What data will be shared (raw/derived/published)? 
  • How long must the data be retained?
  • Are there issues with privacy or intellectual property (for example, personal, high-security, or commercially sensitive data)?
  • Who owns the data (intellectual property rights information)? 
  • Under what conditions will data be shared (embargo/CC licenses/upon request)? 

(Sources: UC BerkeleyUMass AmherstUniversity of Michigan, Alix Keener, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.) 

Why Use a Repository?

Repositories help you:

  • manage and track your research and datasets‚Äč

  • cite your data by supplying a persistent identifiers & DOIs

  • make finding your research and data easier for other researchers

  • track your citation statistics

  • preserve your data for long-term use

  • support open access and ethical information use


Options & Tools for Sharing

The following are some ways you can share data, from least to most open: 

  • Share-upon-request (email, Dropbox) 
  • Self-archives such as a lab, website, or cloud storage
  • Publish in a journal as supplementary online materials 
  • Institutional or public data archives and repositories

University of Rhode Island Resources

The University's institutional repository, DigitalCommons@URI, can store and share relatively small, static datasets, such as txt, xml, or tab-delimited files. The data can either be openly shared or protected by authentication mechanisms. Data can also be placed under an embargo to delay full release. Researchers can also use DigitalCommons@URI to describe datasets stored elsewhere--with links to the data, or with contact information for the data. All descriptive information in DigitalCommons@URI will be available to search engines. 

For help with DigitalCommons@URI, contact Julia Lovett, 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.