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Research Data Management (SC)

Data Storage @Swarthmore


  • Swarthmore's basic file backup system
  • Generally includes files on desktops and laptops
  • Recommended: Restore key files periodically to verify back-up
  • More info:  CrashPlan Installation (ITS)


google drive logo


  • Flexible option for sharing and storing data at Swarthmore
  • Unlimited storage for faculty and staff (individual files up to 5 TB)
  • Access files from anywhere
  • More info:  Swarthmore ITS Knowledge Base (Google Apps)



  • Open source data management software designed to manage data sets that are big, important, and complex
  • Four main functions: Data Virtualization, Data Discovery, Workflow Automation, Secure Collaboration
  • More info: Andrew Ruether (


Learn more: Swarthmore ITS KnowledgeBase: Research Data Storage and Backup

Shared vs. Open Data

Data Sharing

Data Sharing encompasses the spectrum from making data available upon specific request to depositing data in an open and publicly accessible repository. It is important to know specifically what is required by a funder, journal, or institution. For example the Department of Energy's Statement on Digital Data Management defines Data Sharing as "...making data available to people other than those who have generated them. Examples of data sharing range from bilateral communications with colleagues, to providing, free unrestricted access to the public through, for example, a web-based platform."

Open Data

In general, Open Data is data that is deposited in an open, publicly accessible repository. Specifically, the Open Knowledge Foundation summarizes Open Data as "A piece of data or content is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it- subject only to the requirement to attribute and/or share-alike". The full definition includes eleven detailed points that address issues such as access, reuse, redistribution, licensing, technological restrictions and more.

Data Repositories

Data Repositories

Data repositories can help provide long term preservation. They provide persistent unique identifiers and information to aid data citation. Using a data repository can help increase discoverability. There are three main types of data repositories available:

  • Disciplinary Repositories - To check for a repository in your discipline, search (the Registry of Research Data Repositories).
  • General Repositories: DataverseFigshareZenodo
  • Institutional Repositories