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Research Data Repositories - Where to begin?

March 3, 2016

Research data is increasingly critical for research and teaching, but the growing number of places to find data worldwide leaves many faculty and staff wondering where to begin to locate reusable research data. Trends from federal funding agencies to develop and implement data management plans pose additional challenges to those creating research data output and wishing to make them available to others. .

The Libraries' evolving research data management support helps Drexel faculty, staff and students to address these challenges at different points in the research life cycle. Currently, liaison librarians offer guidance to draft data management plans with assessment of appropriate repositories for data storage and guidelines for applying metadata.

As the liaison librarian for engineering, my focus is mainly on engineering and science related data, available from many repositories that are multi-disciplinary or contain data sets with cross-disciplinary uses.

Data repositories can support research and teaching in a number of ways. Need to confirm that your research question is unique? Want to incorporate real data sets into you teaching? Need a data set for modeling a research idea or practicing an analysis method? Research data repositories are great resources for all this and more. Data repositories also promote a culture of sharing and transparency of the research process.

As research data repositories have grown, so have registries and directories of them. One of the most comprehensive is, a global registry that includes data repositories from a variety of different academic disciplines. is a great place to get started if you are interested in exploring research data registries.. Contact your liaison librarian for more details about locating research data and scheduling data information literacy workshop at Drexel.