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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Data Management

This guide is to help you prepare a data management plan.

Where to Share Data

Where to Share Data

Short-term Data Sharing

During active research you may need to share your data with colleagues in a collaborative environment. There are many options for this, depending on the complexity of your project.

  • Networked drives
    • Your college or department may support centralized file-sharing via a local network. This is preferable to storing data on your desktop computer and sharing via removable drives, but may not be adequate for inter-departmental or external data sharing.
  • Cloud services
  • There are many cloud services available for no or low-cost to UT faculty, staff, and students, that may be suitable for file sharing and collaborative research

Long-term Data Sharing

For the longer term, it’s a good idea to deposit and share your data via a stable, trustworthy repository that comes with a commitment to maintaining datasets and providing long-term, persistent access. 

  • Find more information about individual data repositories on this page.
  • UT Box is a University-approved cloud storage and sharing system that is HIPAA, FERPA and IRB compliant. Anyone with a UT EID can share and store data with Box, and files and folders in Box can be shared with persons outside the University. UT Box is copyright-protected, and the University's contract with Box covers responsibility for any data security breaches. Each UT-Austin employee is allocated 2 TB in Box; research teams and other groups may request a shared Box account with unlimited storage by contacting You may also read the FAQs for Box.
  • Google Drive UT provides Google Drive access with no storage limits. However, this storage option is not appropriate for storing confidential data.
  • Online Sharing data on a project web page may be a good option, especially for sharing data with larger audiences. Be aware that this solution can be hard to maintain for the longer term, especially after your project is over and/or funding is no longer available.
    • Texas ScholarWorks - UT's research repository. ScholarWorks is best for the papers and publications associated with data (which you can link to in the Texas Data Repository), but you can archive final datasets that are 1GB or smaller here. Ph.D. dissertations and Masters theses from 2001 to the present are archived here.
    • Texas GeoData Portal - Geospatial resources from UT Libraries’ collections, and raster and vector datasets from other universities.
    • Texas Advanced Computing Center - High performance computing center that can store terabyte (TB) and petabyte (PB) scale datasets. By completing a data storage allocation request, UT employees may obtain up to 5 TB of data storage at no cost. TACC maintains copies of stored data off-site at UT-Arlington to provide additional security. Request a TACC data storage allocation here.

    How long to store data

    Check with your funding agency to find out if there is a specific policy that spells out a data retention period. For publicly funded research in the US, this is often a minimum of three-years. It is better to aim for even longer, if possible, in case you or someone else need the data later on. Five to ten years is a good rule of thumb.

    • Enable data citation
      • Reinforce data citation within your own presentations and papers. Where possible, references should be to a permanent location so that others can locate and use it, and cite it in turn. Many journals are now requesting a persistent URL for your data as a prerequisite for publication.
    • Provide persistent access
      • If you want your data to be found and cited, you need to use identifiers that are globally unique and persistent. That is to say, they must not be repeated elsewhere and they must not change over time. Digital Object Identifiers are a good choice for data.
    • Understand your rights
      • Data as facts are not generally copyrightable, but their organization and presentation may be. Likewise there may be access restrictions due to the presence of sensitive information. Different licensing options can be found at the Open Data Commons. If you have questions about copyright and data please contact Colleen Lyon.

    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.