Data Management and Sharing

This guide gathers overviews and resources for data management and sharing following the research workflow for data, from preparing data management and sharing plans for grant proposals, conducting research, to sharing research data.

Storing and backing up research data is, of course, critical during research. However, these actions are not sufficient to ensure the data’s future usability for you and your research community. When ending a research project or project phase such as data collection, consider taking time to prepare a copy of your research data for preservation. Preserving research data for long-term access is not simply taking stored data out of active use; it requires a few additional steps:

  • protecting data: requiring safeguards and periodic checks of file integrity on storage media
  • documenting data to ensure that data can be used and interpreted in the future, especially by others. This includes organizing the data as an identifiable collection with a stable reference.

Preserving research data builds upon the storage process, providing for long-term access to the data and preparing the data for deposit into a data repository if desired. View the Publish and Share Research section to learn more about how to prepare to share your research data on a data repository.

Data Storage

Best Practices for Storage of Data for Research and Quality Improvement 

A resource for JHU researchers to securely store and share medical data internally and externally using storage provided by JHMI. 

JH OneDrive

JH OneDrive provides 5TB of space per user for storage. It allows you to store and share documents securely with internal and external users.

SAFE Desktop

Operated by JHU Central IT, SAFE Desktop (Secure Analytic Framework Environment) is a virtual machine (VM) cloud-based platform that is fully HIPAA compliant. Access both the data and software for working with the data within the secure environment, avoiding the transmission of files to individual desktops. Faculty and Staff JHED ID can manage shared access to files within the VM. (Students may require invitation to faculty folders and/or inclusion on IRB study teams.) In most cases, SAFE Desktop is the best infrastructure at JHU to satisfy IRB and JHM Data Trust Council's criteria for a secure shared space for working with data containing PII/PHIs.

IT@JHU's Research Information Technology 

Research IT offers a range of services and consultation to find the best storage, computing, and collaboration resources for your research project. They help navigate JHU's many options including "big data" storage needs, high performance computing systems, and security options for sensitive files. Visit their website for more information and current resource lists of JHU storage and computing resources. 

Data Preservation

School of Medicine (SOM) Data Archive

This Archive is managed by the JHU School of Medicine Office of Research Integrity and Welch Medical Library Digital Systems and Services. The purpose of this Archive is to preserve research data generated by JHU SOM researchers. The Archive is HIPAA compliant and it is not open to the public. The purpose of this Archive is to address long-term retention and preservation needs for SOM researchers. Watch a recording about this SOM Data Archive to learn more. 

Planning for Software Reproducibility and Reuse by JHU Data Services

This self-paced training module helps make your research more efficient and impactful by presenting best practices for creating understandable, reproducible, reusable, and citable software and scripts. Additional topics include intellectual property considerations and ensuring the long-term accessibility of code.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Software Preservation

This document provides guidance on how to preserve software to ensure long-term access. Here is a brief introductory article about this document and some additional resources. 

Data preservation

A data preservation guide created by the University of Exeter. It provides a flowchart to help researchers decide whether to preserve certain data or not.