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Research Data Management

This guide will assist researchers in planning for the various stages of managing their research data and in preparing data management plans required with funding proposals.

Benefits of Sharing Research Data

It is becoming more and more common for research funders to require that data generated through funded research be shared publicly. SPARC maintains a list of research funders with established data sharing policies

In addition to meeting funder requirements, there are many benefits to sharing your data. These include:

  • Providing a more complete picture of your work
  • Promoting new research in your field
  • Encouraging collaboration
  • Supporting transparency and reproducibility 
  • Treating data as genuine scholarship that can be referenced and cited

How to Share Your Data

While some journals may publish datasets, the most common way of sharing data is to deposit it in an online repository. Many disciplines have well established data repositories. For instance, ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research) is a widely used data repository for researchers in the social and behavioral sciences. There is no cost to depositing data in ICPSR, and their website provides detailed instructions for preparing your data for deposit. 

The Registry of Research Data Repositories ( maintains a searchable database of data repositories that can be browsed by subject, content type, or country. 

Datasets can also be deposited and shared via WVU's Research Repository

However, please be aware that the Research Repository @WVU is not suggested by the WVU Libraries for sharing data resulting from NIH, or other federally funded research. The Research Repository @WVU can only be used for data and/or documentation in limited situations.  Do NOT include the Research Repository @WVU in your DMSP unless you have contacted and discussed whether the repository can accept your data.