Research in science and technology fields today generates large quantities of data. This data not only needs to be processed and analyzed, it needs to be managed.
Funding agencies such as the NSF now require Data Management Plans to be submitted with grant proposals. These plans must explain how the researcher plans to manage the data generated by the research, addressing issues like security, version control, documentation, ownership and access, preservation, and sharing. If long term preservation and sharing is desired, the researcher must choose an appropriate repository to host it.
The National Science Foundation's Data Management Plan requirement was released in January of 2011. It includes requirements for data sharing for NSF award administration, a data management plan requirement for NSF proposals, and data sharing and DMP requirements for NIH proposals.
Many researchers use cloud storage sites such as DropBox, iCloud or One Drive to store datasets. This is not a good idea because these sites are owned by commercial entities, which do not keep data separate between clients and are not required to provide proof of their security policies. Often legal jurisdiction is unclear. These sites are vulnerable to hacking attacks as well as to National Security Letters and other government demands which may lead to violations of privacy.
Rowan University has a business agreement with Google which allows employees to use Rowan University Google Drive accounts for data storage with appropriate security. If you are using any other cloud storage for your data, you should move it to Rowan University Google Drive. Rowan University also offers a temporary file storage and sharing site called Lift (File Locker).
A key 2013 memo from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, begins: "The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hereby directs each Federal agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the Federal Government."
"...Further, each agency plan for both scientific publications and digital scientific data must contain the following elements:" "...a strategy for leveraging existing archives" (and) "...a strategy for improving the public’s ability to locate and access digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research."
Data repositories are online sites which commit to hosting your dataset for the long term. They have specific guidelines on how to describe your dataset, what formats can be used, and other archival matters.
If your research group determines that your datasets have value for long term preservation and sharing, you need to decide whether a local (university) or national (disciplinary) repository is more appropriate.
Contact your Subject Librarian if you need help locating an appropriate disciplinary repository.
Or, consider using Rowan Digital Works!
Rowan University's repository (RDW) can accept data sets. Just let me know that you're interested and I'll work with you to set up a collection structure.
Data information literacy is a set of skills needed to manage research data effectively. Listed below by category are resources that will help you acquire these skills.