The most straightforward way of sharing your data is submitting to a repository. This strategy is often preferable to creating your own web interface because it does not require maintenance on the researcher's part, which can be cost an time prohibitive. Below are examples of different types of data repositories recommended by the Health Sciences Library.
Digital Collections of Colorado: Our Institutional Repository
The Health Sciences Library provides repository services to researchers on our campus. This repository is an excellent option for researchers who want to share their data freely for an indefinite period of time.
- Provides 1 TB of storage per user
- Provides a unique identifier (Handle, DOI) for your dataset
- Allows people to cite your data
- Can be used to share descriptive information (metadata) about your data and link to external data sources
- Permanent archiving
- Contact Heidi Zuniga to discuss depositing material into the digital repository
Have clinical data that you can't openly share? Store it in REDCap.
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure, HIPAA-compliant web-based application designed for data collection for research studies. REDCap provides data entry with validation, import feature, automated export to popular statistics packages and more.
Molecular data: NCBI databases
Likely, the repositories that people are most familiar with are the databases at the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Many publishers already require authors to submit sequence data for publication. The databases are separated on what type of data are contained (genomic sequences, expression datasets, clinical data, etc) and requests appropriate metadata along with the submission. After submission, NCBI makes the data searchable and links them to related data sources in other databases.
All-purpose data repositories
Many data repositories will house essentially any type of data and provide long term preservation, unique identifiers for data citation, and provide guidance regarding metadata. They typically charge a fee to archive and allow your data to be searchable . This fee varies by the size of the dataset and the repository. They can be more flexible than the NCBI databases because they allow you to associate multiple types of data and analysis tools in one place. Here are a few examples.
Other repositories limit themselves to data from a particular (sub)discipline and/or datatype. This is advantageous because the metadata requirements are more straightforward, and your data will reach a target audience of others who are interested in the same types of data that you are. A comprehensive list of discipline specific databases can be found on our Bioinformatics Research Support page.