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Research Data Management (RDM): Data Repositories

Data management essentials for Melbourne Polytechnic researchers

What are the different types of repositories?

In terms of research, there are two different types or repository. 

The first type is the Institutional Repository.
The Institutional Repository is an archive in which researchers associated with a specific institution are able to deposit their research output.  They  provide a "storehouse" of the institution's research endeavours, making the research discoverable and visible, and enabling impact measurement.  The types of research output that is commonly contained in an Institutional Repository includes journal articles, research reports, monographs, electronic theses and dissertations.  

The second type is the Data Repository. 
This type of repository is the focus of this section of the RDM LibGuide.  A Data Repository may be linked to a specific institution (as in the case of the Institutional Repository) or it may exist as an open resource in which researchers from any number of institutions contribute, store, and share their data with a wider audience (potentially a global audience).  Among its various purposes is to provide access to research data, and to facilitate its reuse.  

Sharing your data in a data repository: The advantages

A data repository is a database specifically designed for collecting, storing, managing, providing access to, and archiving of, researchers' datasets.  Its functions are two-fold:  first, it provides researchers with a space to store research data, and enable its discoverability; and second, it works as a finding tool for locating the research data generated by others.    

Storing your data in a repository and linking it to your research outputs will allow other researchers to verify the work you have done, and enable them to build on their own work, while also enhancing your academic reputation.  

Locating a data repository

Tools for locating a suitable data repository: 
Each of these tools provide extensive lists of certified data repositories.  These lists will be particularly useful to researchers who do not have access to an institutional data repository.

A global registry of research data repositories, drawn from a range of academic disciplines
Promoting a sharing culture along with improved access and visibility of research data

Data repositories list   extensive list of data repositories for open data  

General Data Repositories: Examples

These "General" repositories are not subject-specific, and collect, store and disseminate research data drawn from a variety of disciplines.

The Zenodo research data repository preserves and disseminates research.  Researchers who do not have access to an institutional data repository are able to upload content to Zenodo free of charge.

ADA:  Australian Data Archive
A national service for the collection and preservation of digital research data, based at ANU

Harvard Dataverse Repository
This free, multidisciplinary data repository is open to Harvard researchers, and also to those from outside the Harvard community.  It provides a number of services, including capabilities for sharing, archiving, citing, accessing, and exploring research data.    

Discipline-specific repositories: an example

Atlas of Living Australia  
Deposit and sharing of conservation-related datasets, provided by collecting institutions, individual collectors and community groups