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Research Data Management: Data Sharing

This guide provides information about managing research data in any discipline.

Sharing Data

The most secure way to ensure future access to research data is to entrust data files to a stable, trustworthy online data repository.  Some repositories accept data files that are specific to a discipline or to an institution such as a university, or may accept any data files associated with the research process.  Repositories also typically provide an interface for others to search for and download research data, and even restrict access to data during an embargo period.  And many repositories provide secure storage through a system of backups and checks that ensure long-term access and preservation.  See the Repositories tab for lists of repositories.

Cite Your Data

Why cite data?

  • Get credit for your data and build your reputation.
  • You data is discoverable and can be attributed to you.
  • Other researchers can find data associated with a publication and explore new ways to use it.

See MSU's Dataset Citations Research Guide for examples of data citation.

Privacy and Confidentiality

The federal government1 acknowledges that data is not always shareable for reasons of privacy or confidentiality and many repositories have capabilities to keep data private.  Included in the federal definition of the terms and conditions of what type of data is NOT for sharing are:

  • preliminary analyses
  • drafts of scientific papers
  • plans for future research
  • peer reviews
  • communications with colleagues
  • physical objects (e.g., laboratory samples)
  • trade secrets
  • commercial information
  • materials necessary to be held confidential by a researcher until they are published, or similar information which is protected under law
  • personnel and medical information and similar information the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, such as information that could be used to identify a particular person in a research study.

1Circular No. A-110 - Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations. (11/19/93 As Further Amended 9/30/99)


UCSB Connect box

The UCSB community can access this secure, cloud-based sharing and storage service with unlimited storage capabilities at no cost.  Just log in at and enter your UCSB NetID.


eScholarship provides open access, scholarly publishing services to the University of California and delivers a dynamic research platform to scholars worldwide.


The UCSB Library subscribes to EZID, a UC3 service that makes it easy to create and manage long-term identifiers (DOIs or ARKs) to provide a stable point of reference to online content (papers, datasets, video clips, etc.).  Metadata can be added and updated to increase discoverability.  Supported by the Library, research units and departments on campus can set up an account and begin creating persistent identifiers for digital content. For further information, please contact Tom Brittnacher ( or 893-2366).  To apply for an EZID account, complete the request form and submit it to

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