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Data Curation, Preservation, and Reuse

This guide aims to help researchers through the data curation process at any stage in a projects lifecycle.

Data Repositories

Research data repositories provide the best long term means of storing, publishing and sharing research data. Data repositories serve as a way of ensuring data is accessible, even after a research project has completed. Depositing your data in a discipline specific repository will ensure it is accessible which can increase exposure and collaboration opportunities for your data and research. A number of organizations provide external repositories for archiving research data, many of which are discipline specific.  

When choosing a research data repository select a discipline-specific repository when possible as the repository will have resources and expertise better suited to your particular research project. In addition you should be aware of funder and publisher repository recommendations, as they may have preferred repositories for use. 

Research Data Repository Directories

Interdisciplinary Data Repositories

Data DOIs

A Digital Object Identifier or DOI is a persistent identifier that serves to uniquely identify an object such as a dataset or individual data object. DOIs are bound to the metadata description of the object, including a digital location where the object is stored, such that details about the object and the object itself are accessible using the DOI over the course of the object's lifetime. 

The DOI is bound to a metadata description of the object that includes a digital location, such as a URL, so that the DOI "resolvable" to the object being described. The DOI is a fixed link that is unchanged over the lifetime of the object, while the location of the object, and it's corresponding metadata may change  This way a DOI provides a stable link to the object that follows the object through its lifetime, even when the location the object is stored may change. 

Digital Object Identifier Structure

Adapted from:

DOIs can be assigned at multiple hierarchies of objects, from an entire dataset supporting a publication down to a single data element. The level of detail described by a DOI is entirely up to the assigner and is selected based on how the data will be referenced and used. 


Assigning a DOI

DOI's are often automatically assigned by data repositories, in which case a DOI will be assigned by the data repository of choice, without any additional work on the part of the researcher. If a data repository is not being used, or the repository does not provide a DOI, then tools are available to assign DOIs to research data objects. To learn how to assign a DOI to your data objects follow the Tulane Libguide on Data Sharing.

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