The UCSC Library and the California Digital Library assist UC Santa Cruz researchers with research data management issues through best practices, training, and services to address data sharing and preservation issues. This site offers tools for creation, storage, analysis, dissemination, and preservation of your research data. Resources include a Data Management Planning Tool and information and resources for Data Archiving.
US Federal Funder Public Access Policies
National Science Foundation (NSF)
The NSF strengthened its data sharing policy as of January 18, 2011, when it began requiring all grant proposals to include a two-page data management plan. Guidelines are available online. Specific NSF directorates, offices, divisions, programs, or other units may impose additional data management requirements.
The entire policy, FAQ list, and links to Directorate information are available at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp
The NSF Data Management Plan FAQ is available at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmpfaqs.jsp
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The NIH has a policy supporting data sharing, which requires researchers applying for $500,000 or more in direct costs in any one year to include a data-sharing plan or state why data sharing is not possible. Further details are available on the NIH Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance Web site.
Researchers can share data by emailing it to requestors or posting it on a Web site, but this can make it difficult to find. Data sharing is critical for the advancement of knowledge. Researchers benefit from increased collaborations, validation, and recognition of their work; institutions and funders benefit from the measurable increase in the impact of their resources; and society benefits from the faster pace at which research can progress.
UC Repositories and Services
- DMPTool: free online tool offers ready-to-use templates to create a data management plan for NSF, NIH, NEH, DOE, IMLS and others.
- Dash: easily preserve, publish and share datasets with the research community; drag-and-drop interface; data assigned persistent DOI; can be used for meeting a grant’s data sharing and preservation requirements
- Merritt: repository service that enables UC users to manage, archive, and share digital content including data; can be used for long-term preservation, sharing, or meeting a grant’s data sharing and preservation requirements
- EScholarship: open-access publishing platform containing scholarship, including working papers, peer-reviewed journals, monographic series, paper/seminar series, postprints, and conference proceedings, generated by UC departments, centers, and research units
- EZID: a service for researchers and others to obtain and manage long-term identifiers for digital content including data, which makes digital objects easier to access and verify, thus increasing re-use and citations; UCSC researchers should email the library for EZIDs
- Email the UCSC Library for assistance with any of these UC Repositories and Services.
Princeton University has created a repository for policy-relevant data on U.S. arts and cultural policy. The UCSC Library has compiled a partial list of data repositories in various disciplines. More complete lists of data repositories are available from Simmons University.
Privacy and Intellectual Property
When publishing data, researchers must consider their rights and responsibilities regarding confidentiality and intellectual property.
It is vital to maintain the confidentiality of research subjects for ethical reasons and to ensure their continuing participation.
Comply with UC regulations: Consult the appropriate UC Requirements and Guidance for Conducting Research Involving Human or Animal Subjects.
Comply with all health research regulations: Federal legislation contains very strict guidelines; consult HIPPA Privacy Rule Information for Researchers.
Evaluate the data’s sensitivity: Consider whether the data contains direct or indirect identifiers that could be utilized with other public information to identify research participants.
Obtain informed consent: Several sample agreements are available.
Restrict use of the data: Control access through embargoes or access/licensing terms and conditions.
Learn about professional guidelines: The National Academy of Engineering offers an online ethics center that includes a discussion of ethical issues in data management.
Intellectual Property Considerations
Data cannot be copyrighted. However, a particular expression of data, such as a chart or table in a publication, can be copyrighted.
Data can be licensed; licensing conditions can be imposed to protect participants’ privacy or limit further uses.
To promote sharing and unlimited use of data, make it available under a Creative Commons CC0 Declaration.
Researchers may or may not have the right to share data collected from other sources, depending upon the sources' license terms.