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Data Services

Data Management Services assists Brandon researchers with the organization, management, and curation of research data to enhance its preservation and access now and into the future

Step 1: Identify the Tasks you Need the Repository to Perform

When locating a repository, it is important to understand what roles you need the repository to perform.  

Repository Functions
  • Issuing of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)
Common practice among Dataverse, Portage and many
other repositories -  but it is important to verify this when
investigating others, as DOIs are an essential service.
  • Facilitate with linking data to metadata
Universal among repositories
  • Assist with data storage

This refers to data not formatted for open sharing because it is in
the earlier stages of a research project.  Dataverse provides this 
and is free. 

  • Enable team access to data sets when data is not
    ready to be shared
Dataverse is the repository for this.  
  • Provide for the Preservation of data
Dataverse, Portage, Funder Recommended Repositories.  
Both Dataverse and Portage are free repositories. 
  • Enable fellow researchers to easily locate, explore 
    and reuse data.
Dataverse is ideal for this.  It also makes understanding the data
easier by including Data Visualization Tools
  • Enable data owner to provide access to data on a
    case by case basis once it is made ready for
    sharing - should limited access be required

Dataverse is the repository for this. Dataverse offers
fine-grained control over data access, permissions
may be set at the collection-level, dataset- level, or

  • Include licensing information so everyone can easily
    learn what rights they have related to data access
    and usage  - and / or who to contact if permission to
    use is required.
Universal among repositories
  • House very specialized data sets common to
    a discipline
General repositories like Dataverse and Portage tend
to take many different file types, but subject / domain
specific repositories might offer tools that enable
researchers to locate use the data in unique ways.  
You will need to consult them if there are any costs
associated with housing data in them.
  • House open software used to analyze specific data
Common practice but confirm.
  • Store, Preserve and make accessible Massive Data
    Sets if required.
Portage provides access to one Terabyte and
more can be requested. Utilizes Globus File Transfer
to enable file transfer of massive data sets. 


At different stages of your research project you may require a repository to do different things. 

  • Earlier on in the project Storage and access (by an individual or a team ) is important so choosing a repository that allows this - such as Dataverse - is important if this is your approach to handling storage and team access.
  • Later on you may need a repository for the purposes of Preservation, Licensing, and Sharing. In these instances you can get these services from an instance of Dataverse and the Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) by Portage.

Portage outlines some key aspects of various Canadian Repositories.  It can help you understand important elements of selecting a repository.

Step 2: Consider Funder Requirements around Preferred Repositories 

If you have received funding for your research you will need to consult whether the funder recommends publishing data in a specific repository. In many cases funders will recommend specific repositories because these repositories: 

  • Handle specialized data sets, and 
  • If your dataset is in a discipline favored repository that makes it more likely to be located and used. 

Funder recommended repositories will adhere  to the Trust Principles created by the Research Data Alliance (RDA) (endorsed by Portage and the Canadian Association of Research Librariesand offer Preservation, Visibility, Licensing and Data Sharing options.  However, you will need to learn if a recommended repository is sufficient to manage specialized sharing restrictions if this is required.  If they do not, review your Data Management Plan:

  • Was there an agreement that the Data was highly Sensive and could not be stripped in such a way that it might remain useful?  
  • Was there an indication that the data was gathered from an Indigenous population that does not want it shared?  

If this was spelled out in your DMP you can contact the funder to discuss this issue.

Step 3: Consider Data Sovereignty  - Even if given recommendations by a Publisher

Another concern when selecting a repository is Data Sovereignty.   As the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and Portage state: is in our national interest to take local responsibility for the stewardship of the valuable research data produced through Canadian research and to determine which criteria and practices are appropriate for repositories that collect Canadian-produced research data. A publisher-directed approach to data repository selection could result in a situation that is at odds  with our national values and standards. We support the principles outlined in  UNESCO Recommendations on Open Science, that characterize open science as a global public good, stating “Open Science services should be viewed as essential research infrastructures, governed and owned by the community, and funded collectively by governments, funders and institutions reflecting the diverse interests and needs of the research community and society.”

Consequently, it is always desirable to house Canadian Data in a Canadian Repository.  

One approach to deal with this situation is to contact Scholarly Communications Library Services for assistance around compliance with requirements that ensure data sovereignty is maintained and that any data shared is not ceded in a manner that a commercial entity might exploit. 

Step 4: Consider Data Visibility and Data File Types

Even if there are no official requirements around where you house your data, you may decide it is important for the purposes of the visibility of your research - and the need to locate it with similar file types - to locate your data in a Subject / Domain Specific Repository.  

If you need to locate your data in one of these repositories, a good practice would be to determine:

  1. If the repository is funded in a way that ensures it will be sustainable in the long run.
  2. If it is in Canada.
  3. Does the repository have a good reputation?  (Check to see if it is endorsed by a funding agency, scholarly journal, professional society or library.  These recommenders generally look to see if the repository adheres to the Trust Principles.)  
  4. How usable is the repository?  A repository’s usability ensures that your peers are able to find and download your data. A usable data repository should allow for users to easily upload, download, and cite data sets and adhere to the F.A.I.R. Principles
  5. Does it protect your Rights? Take time out to read the terms of use and to understand what permissions you’re giving the data repository. It’s best practice for a data repository to clearly state the terms of use and to have a FAQ section to help users understand the service being provided.
  6. Are there costs to house the data? While many repositories are free, some are not.  Investigate whether you will need to budget for data housing costs. 

Should you select a subject / domain repository, you might also consider housing the data in Dataverse or Portage for a multitude of reasons related to preservation and Data Sovereignty.  

To learn about alternative repositories consult Re3data

  • Re3Data is a global registry of research data repositories that covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. It includes repositories that enable permanent storage of and access to data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers, and scholarly institutions. It list repositories by CountryContent Type and Subject.
  • On top of specific research disciplines you can filter on access categories, data usage licenses, trustworthy data repositories (with a certificate or explicitly adhering to archival standards) and whether a repository gives the data a persistent identifier.

Use it to determine where you can (1)  look for, or (2) contibute relevant data.