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Research Data Management

Selecting a Data Repository

Choosing what type of repository best suits your data ultimately depends on research area, the sensitivity of the data and the features of the repository. If it is also possible that if your research is funded, that your funder will indicate where the data should ultimately be deposited.

  1. Human participants data may be sensitive depending on the dataset size, population, and topics covered (among other things). It's important to assess the risk of harm that inappropriate disclosure of the data could pose to the participants. At more than minimal risk, data should be deposited in a repository that has access controls. 
  2. Data sensitivity may also be affected by other factors not related to human participants such as geolocations of endangered species or interests to national security. 
  3. Disciplinary and data-type repositories often offer the most robust features for data in their collection purview (analytics, security, detailed metadata, etc.).

Duke Research Data Curation and Research Data Repository (RDR)

The Duke University Libraries provides a Research Data Curation Program and data publishing through the Duke Research Data Repository (RDR). According to the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Data curation activities can be defined those that "enable data discovery and retrieval, maintain its quality, add value, and provide for reuse over time, and...includes authentication, archiving, management, preservation, retrieval, and representation."

This program assists Duke researchers who need to provide access to data underlying funded research or scholarly publications and those who wish to promote and share their research findings through open access.  Data curators review and assess data deposits for completeness, provide guidance and recommendations if changes are needed, and facilitate the ingest of the data into Duke's RDR. RDR Depositors are provided with a DOI that they can include with publications, presentations and other promotional materials so that others may access and use their data for reproducibility purposes as well as brand new research.

If you are interested in learning more about the Research Data Curation Program and/or the Duke Research Data Repository (RDR), please contact

RDR and the FAIR Guiding Principles


Discipline Based Repositories

Duke-supported Repositories

Duke supports the use of several data repositories by either hosting, having a membership, or prepaying for deposits on behalf of Duke researchers.  

General Repositories