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Data Management and Open Data

This guide provides best practices and resources for getting started with managing and sharing research data.


Preserving data makes it possible to share data with others now and in the future. Appropriate data storage archives should be selected to ensure long term access to your data and its metadata. Additionally, backups should be maintained during your project work to prevent from unintended or accidental storage loss. 

Why Backup Data?

Data loss can occur in both active and passive ways. Active ways include theft, natural disasters, and misplaced external storage. Passive data loss includes format obsolesce and lack of software support. While some of these are inevitable, you can take steps towards preserving your data by creating backup copies.

3-2-1 Rule

A good rule to follow is the 3-2-1 rule for back ups. 

3 copies of your work (1 working copy, 2 backup copies)
2 different types of storage
1 copy off-site


Long Term Storage

Long term storage in an appropriate storage location makes data sharing possible.  There are different types of digital repositories available for you to use.

Institutional repositories are digital archives for scholarly materials produced at institutions.

The Galvin Library supports repository.iit, Illinois Institute of Technology's institutional repository. 

The IIT Digital Repository is for you to use for whatever you want, provided that:

  • it was produced, submitted, and/or sponsored by IIT faculty, students, researchers or staff
  • it is in digital form
  • it is scholarly, educational, and/or related to IIT
  • it will be a permanent contribution to the repository
  • it is ready for public dissemination
  • you (or the author/copyright owner) are willing and able to grant IIT the right to preserve and distribute the work via repository.iit. The author/copyright holder retains copyright for all items submitted

General subject repositories:

  • Dataverse - From the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard University, an easily accessible source for depositing research data.
  • Figshare - Repository for all research outputs in any discipline.
  • Mendeley Data
  • Open Science Framework
  • Zenodo - Enables researchers to share and preserve any research outputs in any size, any format from any discipline. Funded by European organizations. Integrates with GitHub.

The following sources are directories, or lists, of data repositories.