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Research Data Management

Sharing & Preservation

Sharing your research data helps advance research, increase knowledge, and expand learning opportunities for researchers and students by making your work more accessible, preservable, and understandable. Most major public and private funding agencies and many journals now require data sharing as a prerequisite for grant awards and publication. Sharing data encourages reproducibility, reduces duplication, and allows for re-use of your data and lets others build upon your hard work.

Preserving your data ensures that researchers will be able to reuse and understand your data long into the future. Follow best practices for preservation, like using open file formats, providing good documentation, and ensuring that your data is stored in a place with a preservation plan.

The best place to both share and preserve your data is in a data repository.

Choosing a repository: Data Repositories at Temple

Repositories create metadata and documentation to ensure that the data will be discoverable and intelligible to future researchers. Repositories also provide regular back ups and may even migrate file formats to avoid digital obsolescence. These active measures may vary depending on the repository, so choose your repository carefully.

To make it easy for yourself later, think about what repository you would like to use as you are writing your Data Management Plan (DMP) at the start of your research project. Naming a repository is also required by many funders (NIH, NSF, and more) in their DMPs that are part of the grant application

There are many trusted digital data repositories for storing and sharing data, and Temple University Libraries is a member or operates four repositories and their attributes and limits are listed in the table below. Regardless of where you would like to deposit your data, you can reach out for assistance at


Repository and Guide Type/Focus Size Limit Offers Controlled Access Allows Embargo
Dryad Generalist 300 Gb* No Only for peer-review
QDR Qualitative Data 20 Gb* Yes Yes
ICPSR Social Sciences 30 Gb* Yes Yes, for a year
TUScholarShare Institutional 5 Gb No Yes

*Size limit can be increased in certain cases

To help you decide what repository to use, consult the decision tree below.

Choosing a repository: questions to ask

  • Will it accept your data?
    Some data repositories require that your university or organization to hold a membership in the repository or the organization sponsoring the repository.
  • Is it a curated or non-curated repository?
    A curated repository provides value-added services that help to organize, preserve, and share your data. This might require that you work with a curator before your data is made available. A non-curated repository allows you to upload your data and make it available without any mediation.
  • Are there any fees required?
    There are fees associated with some repositories, so you should figure this out early in your planning.
  • Is it a general or disciplinary repository?
    Think about the kind of audience you would like to share your data with. Is it important to target a particular community in a specialized repository, or do you want to reach out to a broader, more general audience?
  • What will you need to do to prepare your data for deposit?
    Since repositories may have different requirements for depositing data, think in advance about kinds of file formats and metadata that your repository of choice will accept.
  • How long can you store your data?
    Think about how long you would like to share your data and whether a repository is consistent with your short- or long-term plans.

TUScholarShare - Temple's Institutional Repository

TUScholarShare is Temple University's Institutional Repository, created to support the needs of the Temple University community around sharing, promoting, and archiving the wide range of scholarly works created in the course of research and teaching, including research data.

If you have specific questions about TUScholarShare, please contact
If you have questions about depositing your data please contact

The video below gives a brief overview of the deposit process:



  • Data sharing is not the same as data preservation. Sharing data can take many forms, including providing access to data on platforms that are very popular and useful, but do not guarantee preservation, like Github.
  • The best way to preserve your data is to deposit your data in a data repository.
  • The repositories Temple Libraries is a member of or operates are all good places to preserve your data.
  • If using another repository than those mentioned above, make sure to check what their policies are for ensuring data are regularly backed up in multiple locations, that there is a contingency plan for natural disasters, and what their migration plan is in case of a need to shut down the repository.


Preservation - Best practices for files

When selecting file formats for archiving, the formats should ideally be:

  • Non-proprietary: .docx, .xlsx, and other file formats used by Microsoft Word are proprietary and non-preferred for this reason

  • Unencrypted
  • Uncompressed
  • In common usage by the research community
  • Adherent to an open, documented standard, such as described by the State of California (see AB 1668, 2007)
    • Interoperable among diverse platforms and applications
    • Fully published and available royalty-free
    • Fully and independently implementable by multiple software providers on multiple platforms without any intellectual property restrictions for necessary technology
    • Developed and maintained by an open standards organization with a well-defined inclusive process for evolution of the standard.

Converting files to new formats

  • Note conversion steps taken
  • If possible, keep the original file as well as the converted one 

When stating what format you'll be using:

  • Note what software is needed to view the file
  • Provide information about version control
  • Explain any anticipated format changes - such as using one file type for collection and another for analysis.