Skip to Main Content

Research Data Management

Introductory information and links for deeper investigation on research data management topics. Guide 3 of a 3-part series.

Open Data

What is Open Data?

According to SPARC, "Open Data is research data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone." Read more about it on their Open Data Fact Sheet.

Where do I Find Open Data?

Check out the many resources labeled with the Open Access lock on the Find Data page of our Data Literacy guide.

Why Should I Consider Making my Data Open?

"Open Data has the potential to speed up the research process while simultaneously improving our confidence in those results," (SPARC on Open Data). Sharing your data openly using a Creative Commons license can advance knowledge and discovery, improve the scientific and scholarly record, increase access to your scholarship. 

Additionally, funders are increasing requiring researchers to share their data. SPARC provides a great list of Data Sharing Requirements by Federal Agency. For example, the NIH has issued a new Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, which will require NIH funded researchers to prospectively submit a plan outlining how scientific data from their research will be managed and shared. On January 25, 2023, the new policy will come into effect and replace the 2003 NIH Data Sharing Policy currently in effect.

FACT SHEET: Biden-‚Ā†Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Advance Open and Equitable Research

Browse Data Sharing Requirements by Federal Agency via SPARC

How do I Make my Data Open?

Start by articulating a Data Management Plan. Working through the steps of this plan as your design your research project (revisit it throughout the project, too) will set you up properly for being able to share your data.

Follow FAIR Data principles to improve the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse of your digital assets.

Choose a license for your data. The license defines what others may do with your data. Two common sources for licenses are Creative Commons and Open Data Commons.

There are a variety of ways to share your data including submitting it with journal articles submissions, which is sometimes requested by publishers in the hard sciences. Another approach is to publish your data in an open repository. Visit our Data Repositories page on this guide for more information.

Open Science Framework (OSF)

OSF is a free and open source project management and data repository that supports researchers across their entire project life cycle. As a collaboration tool, OSF helps researchers work on projects privately with a limited number of collaborators and make parts of their projects public, or make all the project publicly accessible for broader dissemination with citable, discoverable DOIs.

A good example of open science, linking to good data, and a DMP