Penn State Data Management Plan Tutorial

5.5 Summary

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In the last section of the DMP, be sure to discuss how the project will store and preserve the data. This entails mention not only of any data repositories where the project will deposit data but also how, for the duration of the project, data storage will be handled and managed and kept secure. A distributed approach to data storage is the standard to follow, which includes maintaining at least three copies of data; keeping a "master" file for the sole purpose of making copies, and keeping files both in external hard drives and in external but remote storage or on remote servers.

Data sets deposited into a disciplinary repository have some advantages, including a greater chance of discovery by other researchers in your field because of their familiarity with such a repository. Examples of disciplinary data repositories (more of which can be found in DataBib):

  • Dryad- for data sets in the applied biological sciences that are linked to published articles
  • ChemxSeer- for chemistry data sets
  • ESA (Ecological Society of America) Data Registry- for data sets in ecology
  • ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research)- for social sciences data
  • IEDA (Integrated Earth Data Applications)- for “observational solid earth data from the Ocean, Earth, and Polar Sciences”

Occasionally, there is not a disciplinary data repository available for your data. In such cases, you should consider depositing your data sets to Penn State's repository service, ScholarSphere, which is a self-deposit service that takes any format and requires no creation of an account. The only requirement for deposit is that you have a current Penn State Web Access ID.

Check Your Understanding

True or False: ScholarSphere is a free service for all Penn State researchers.

(a) True
(b) False

test-bulbClick for answer.

ANSWER: (a) True. ScholarSphere, Penn State’s repository service for all its faculty, students, and staff does not charge any fees for usage. All that is required is a Penn State Web Access ID. Once you log into ScholarSphere, you automatically become a user (whether you deposit files or not). Currently, there is also no limit to the number of files you may deposit (i.e., no maximum on storage size for deposited files). ScholarSphere takes any file format; it can accommodate web uploads of single files up to 500MB and a folder of files up to 1 GB. Since it has Dropbox integration, files larger than 500MB may be uploaded to ScholarSphere via Dropbox. Finally, while the default access level is open access, users may adjust access to “Penn State only” or to “private.”