Manage Your Research Data: Data Archives & Data Sharing

This guide provides a primer on the fundamentals of data management.

Archiving Data at Portland State University

"Archived Data" is material you have collected throughout the research process that you want to share when the project is conclude.
Most grants will call this "final research data," which PIs will share with colleagues to facilitate future research projects.  Once data is archives, it cannot be changed and is static.

Live or active data, which is still being collected or manipulated throughout a project's life cycle, should not be archived. For live data storage, contact PSU's Office of Information Technology.

Data Repositories

Below is a sample of date repositories in which researchers can deposit their data. 
Please note that grants or journals may require PIs to deposit their data into a specific repository. 

Final Steps Before Sharing Data

Before sharing data, consider the following:

  • Are there any legal restrictions? 
  • Does your funder have sharing restrictions?
  • Has sensitive data or personal identifiers of subjects been redacted?
  • Do you have the legal rights to share data?

Privacy Considerations:

  • Anonymized data: Data in which identifying information has been removed, substituted, aggregated, or generalized.
  • Identifiers: Variables that could be used to identify individuals or groups in the study.
  • Direct identifiers are information can directly identifies participants. These may include:
    • Name, initials, address, contact information, social security numbers, vehicle registration data, medical data, device information, IP address, photographs, recordings, family information, date of birth.
  • Indirect identifiers are information that can identify an individual or group when combined with other data. These may include:
    • Gender, place of birth, rare medical condition, place of treatment, zip or area code, socioeconomic data (ex. workplace, income, education institution), ethnicity, age, geographic indicators, transcript records.
  • Restricted data: Data in the study that may be shared, but only under secure conditions.
  • Sensitive data: Data that can be used to identify a group or individual.

Metadata and Documentation:

Before sharing the project, be sure to include appropriate metadata, which is information and documentation about the data itself. Metadata includes codebooks, read me files, and supporting documentation. See guide for full discussion of metadata and documentation.