After Your Research
When wrapping up your research project, you can take important steps to ensure that your research data are safeguarded and your research can make the greatest impact.
Why Safeguard Your Research?
- Keep your data available and usable in the long-term
- Expand the profile and impact of your research
- Allow you to publish in any journal (with any data policy)
- Ensure reproducibility
For tips on how to transition data management at the end of a project, consult this RDM offboarding checklist. Also check with your institutional research office or archives for policies and support for closing out research projects and storing research materials.
Storing and Sharing Data Long Term
Deposit the final versions of your data in a trustworthy data repository, which can:
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Additionally, it is valuable, and often required, to share related outputs from the research, specifically any software created and the code used to analyze the data and create the results. It is generally valuable to publish code along with the data in a repository, but other options exist. For additional resources and guidance, see the NIH Best Practices for Sharing Research Software.
Some repositories have secure data services, to provide restricted, controlled access to data which may be sensitive or contain personally identifiable information. This can enable limited sharing and use by researchers.
If for reasons of sensitivity and/or proprietary agreements the full data cannot be shared, funders and journal publishers often make exceptions to their sharing policies. In such cases, it is still important to share as many related materials as possible so that others have clear instructions on how the data was obtained and analyzed (e.g., share code used for analysis and formally cite the detailed source of data in your publication).
- Ensure that you deposit your data in a trustworthy repository, which makes your data widely discoverable and citable (e.g., via a DOI).
- Cite your published data in your own journal publications, using the recommended citation from your data repository whenever possible.
- Register for an ORCID to ensure all your research outputs can be centrally tracked.
- Data citation
- Data sharing and availability (including specific data types, e.g., protein structures or DNA sequences)
- Metadata requirements like controlled keywords, ontologies (e.g., MeSH), persistent identifiers (e.g., DOI, ORCID, or RRIDs), or funding agency terminology (e.g., Open Funder Registry)
If you are still unsure, contact the library at your institution as most of them provide citation assistance.