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In 2013, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) published a memorandum stating that research funded by federal agencies with R&D budgets of over $100 Million must be made publicly accessible. See the memorandum here.
Since then, the memorandum was updated and directed the affected agencies to publish plans as to how researchers would comply with this requirement. In November of 2014, federal agencies began sharing these plans. A list of all of the affected agencies and their requirements is available in this table from the University of Arizona Libraries.
The following are searchable collections of data repositories for a variety of subject disciplines:
re3data.org Registry of Research Data Repositories- Provided by the German Research Foundation, it now includes DataBib. "re3data.org is a global registry of research data repositories that covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. It presents repositories for the permanent storage and access of data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers and scholarly institutions."
http://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/opendoar/ OpenDOAR Directory of Open Access Repositories Created by the University of Nottingham in the UK, "OpenDOAR provides a quality-assured listing of open access repositories around the world. OpenDOAR staff harvest and assign metadata to allow categorisation and analysis to assist the wider use and exploitation of repositories. Each of the repositories has been visited by OpenDOAR staff to ensure a high degree of quality and consistency in the information provided."
http://www.osti.gov/dataexplorer/Department of Energy Data Explorer Discover science, technology, engineering research and data collections from the US Department of Energy. View datasets by subject, find repositories hosting the data.
In January 2007 representatives of four preservation organizations convened at the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago to seek consensus on core criteria for digital preservation repositories, to guide further international efforts on auditing and certifying repositories. The organizations were:
The attendees identified what they believed were ten basic characteristics of digital preservation repositories. The key premise underlying these characteristics is that for repositories of all types and sizes preservation activities must be scaled to the needs and means of their respective designated community or communities.
The repository commits to continuing maintenance of digital objects for identified community/communities.
Demonstrates organizational fitness (including financial, staffing, and processes) to fulfill its commitment.
Acquires and maintains requisite contractual and legal rights and fulfills responsibilities.
Has an effective and efficient policy framework.
Acquires and ingests digital objects based upon stated criteria that correspond to its commitments and capabilities.
Maintains/ensures the integrity, authenticity and usability of digital objects it holds over time.
Creates and maintains requisite metadata about actions taken on digital objects during preservation as well as about the relevant production, access support, and usage process contexts before preservation.
Fulfills requisite dissemination requirements.
Has a strategic program for preservation planning and action.
Has technical infrastructure adequate to continuing maintenance and security of its digital objects.
Sharing your data via a website is not the same as preserving your data. Funders will require that you keep your data for various time periods. Data is typically preserved in a repository that has made a commitment to maintaining the data it accepts over time. In order to do this, data is usually kept in preferred file formats.
Preferred file formats are:
Open, with documented standards
Commonly used by a research community
Standard representations (ASCII, Unicode)
Uncompressed (If you need to compress files to conserve space, limit compression to your 3rd backup copy.)
"Once the minimum storage period has been met, the PI must decide whether to continue storing the data. Although data can be kept indefinitely, a PI must evaluate the benefits and risks of extended storage. On the one hand, one never knows when data might be needed. On the other hand, continued storage of confidential data increases the risk of possible violation. The monetary cost of retention and security are additional concerns." (From the Office of Research Integrity, US Dept of Health and Human Services)
For the NSF, different Directorates will have different requirements. Many of these have no specified amount of time that the data must be retained, it will be up to the PI to determine the length and declare it in a proposed Data Management Plan. Links to the NSF Directorates advice on Data Management Plans are provided below.
For NIH, protection of personal data will be a consideration. See National Institutes of Health Plan for Increasing Access to Scientific Publications and Digital Scientific Data from NIH Funded Scientific Research, February 2015.