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Research Data Management Resources

Data management best practices, funder mandates, data sharing options, and local resources for research data management.

What Is Open Data?

"Open data" is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike (from the Open Data Handbook). The Open Data movement began with efforts to improve access to government data (see  This page focuses on open scientific data: the primary research data published within or alongside research papers.

Check out this Open Data factsheet from SPARC!

SPARC Open Data factsheet

Registries and Lists

Data Repositories for the Biological Sciences

There are many options for publicly sharing data sets as a condition of publication, including government-sponsored repositories, disciplinary repositories, third-party repositories, and the UMass Chan institutional repository, eScholarship@UMassChan.

For large datasets, here are selected data repositories for the biological sciences:

Open Data in eScholarship@UMassChan

eScholarship@UMassChan can serve as a home for research data files that support scholarly publications, including dissertations, theses, and journal articles that must meet requirements for the preservation and dissemination of data.

Benefits of sharing your data through eScholarship@UMassChan:

  • it is free to you
  • it can accommodate large file sizes and a variety of file formats
  • it can apply embargoes for access controls
  • it can provide a persistent identifier, such as a DOI
  • it can provide a Creative Commons license
  • it supplies usage metrics to help measure research impact
  • it includes sufficient metadata to enable discovery and reuse
  • it is a redundant copy of your data in the event that something should happen to your original
  • it is managed by the library

View this example of a data set housed in eScholarship@UMassChan

Screen capture of a dataset housed in eScholarship@UMMS: Data from: The Vitamin D Status in Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Publicly Available Health and Social Science Data Collections

Other Sources for Data

Data Journals

Data journals are publications whose purpose is to expose and share research data, and to promote its re-use.  Examples of data journals:

Open Data Resources