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Research Guides@Tufts

Research Data Management @ Tufts

Licensing Your Research Data

Why license your data?

Retain the ownership rights to your research data while letting others know they may use it responsibly. You can specify which restrictions (if any) you would like to apply to your dataset.

How can you license your data?

Select a standard Creative Commons license and apply it to your research data:

  • CC BY: Allows others to share and adapt your work, even commercially, as long as they give appropriate credit to you (least restrictive)
  • CC BY-SA: Allows others to share and adapt your work, even commercially, as long as they give appropriate credit to you and use the same license ("pay it forward") for any derivative works they produce
  • CC BY-ND: Allows others to share your work, even commercially, as long as they give appropriate credit to you
  • CC BY-NC: Allows others to share and adapt your work, only for non-commercial purposes, as long as they give appropriate credit to you
  • CC BY-NC-SA: Allows others to share and adapt your work, only for non-commercial purposes, as long as they give appropriate credit to you and use the same license ("pay it forward") for any derivative works they produce
  • CC BY-NC-ND: Allows others to share your work, only for non-commercial purposes, as long as they give appropriate credit to you (most restrictive)

Not sure which license is right for you? This questionnaire will help you choose!

Sharing Your Research Data

Federal mandates require researchers to share their data and placing it in a repository will ensure that it is publicly accessible. Below is a list of major research data repositories.

Repositories by Subject

Not comprehensive, a selection of major subject-specific data repositories:

General Repositories

  • Harvard Dataverse, accepts research data from all disciplines
  • Figshare, welcomes all types of research outputs from any discipline

Sciences

Social Sciences

  • Open ICPSR, for social sciences and behavioral health research data
     

Tufts-Specific Repository


Browse for More Repositories

Not sure where your data should go? Use these resources to browse by discipline and find a data repository that's right for you:

 

Archiving & Long Term Preservation

Storing vs. Archiving:

There is a difference between storing & sharing your data in a repository, and archiving & preserving it for the long term. Archiving means that your data is actively cared for, to ensure it is maintained and usable into the future. Some data repositories also act as archives, so make sure you learn about whether your repository of choice offers these services. An archive will:

  • Appropriately back up your files, to ensure your data does not degrade or become corrupted over time
  • Migrate your data to the most current technology formats
  • Collect and preserve your documentation

What can you do to ensure your data is usable over time?

  • Make sure data collection, analysis, and variables are well-documented
  • Use an open file format that is unencrypted, uncompressed, and ASCII formatted to ensure interoperability between software applications and sustainable access for the long term. Examples of preferred formats:
    • For spreadsheets use .csv 
    • For text files use .txt, .pdf, .xml, .html
    • For images use .tiff, .png, .pdf
    • For audio use .mp4