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NIH Data Management & Sharing Plan (DMSP): Sharing Options -- Repositories

This guide provides information for researchers submitting research proposals under the new NIH data sharing requirements: Effective January 25, 2023

GW Storage Options

GW Provides various storage options for faculty and students.  Generally Google Drive is not considered appropriate for storage of sensitive or confidential data.  If you have questions about which GW tools may be used for secure data storage, backup, and analysis for your research, please contact and they will be happy to work with you to determine the best compliant solutions.  

Writing Informed Consent Language for Data Sharing

Data sharing is something that should be considered at the impetus of a project, especially when working with human subject data. Informed consent should be developed in a way that allows for secondary use of data, without compromising the ethicality and integrity of the data. Here are some resources to help you develop informed consent for data sharing. 

Data Sharing Methods Comparison Table

This table provides pros, cons, and examples of different data sharing methods. If you have questions about which method is right for you, please reach out to us.

Method Pros Cons Examples


Institutional data repository
  • Built-in funding means it will continue to be supported
  • Metrics available
  • Local assistance from data professionals on your campus
  • Less likely to accept sensitive data
  • Not all institutions have an institutional repository
  • ScholarSpace -  GW ScholarSpace provides free, public access, broad visibility, and long-term preservation for the research and scholarly works created by GW’s faculty, staff and students, including electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs).  Scholarspace is maintained by Gelman Library. 
  • Health Sciences Research Commons (HSRC) is an online repository for gathering, archiving, and disseminating the research output of the Milken Institute School of Public Health, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, at the George Washington University. HSRC is maintained by the Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library.
  • Scholarly Commons.  is a service of The George Washington University Law School. It is designed to provide broad public access to the extraordinary body of engaged scholarship and public policy involvement that are the hallmarks of our academic community.
Disciplinary repository
  • Developed specifically for people in your field
  • Citations can likely be tracked, depending on service
  • Metrics may be available
  • May go under and stop hosting data
  • May cost money to deposit
  • May or may not provide long term preservation
  • Dryad - a STEM focused data repository
  • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) - a long standing social and behavioral sciences data repository with access options for restricted data.  Several of ICPSR’s topical archives and projects offer dedicated support for certain NIH-funded data: GW is a member.  Contact for more information.  
  • Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) - a qualitative repository with restricted access options.  GW has a membership. Contact for more information.  

Generalist repository

(feature comparison of major generalist repositories)

  • Great for interdisciplinary scholarship
  • Citation can likely be tracked, depending on service
  • Use is probably measured
  • May cost a fee to deposit
  • Company may change its terms of service
  • Company may go out of business and stop hosting data
  • May or may not provide long term preservation
Governmental repository
  • Good repository documentation and supporting information 
  • Will likely continue to be supported
  • Citations can likely be tracked
  • Repositories do not yet exist for all types of data
  • May or may not be prepared for long term preservation
  • May only accept data from research funded by the specific granting agency
Journal publisher - supplemental material/supporting information
  • Data is connected to the publication it supports
  • Citations can be tracked
  • Publishers often strongly suggest relying on a data repository
  • Publisher may decide to discontinue hosting data
  • PLOS One - Supporting Information Policy
  • IEEE Dataport - Free for researchers publishing in IEEE publications who wish to post supporting datasets for those articles.  

Based on work by Lauren Phegley and Lynda Kellam at Penn Libraries.


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