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Research Data and Reproducibility

Your guide to research data services at OHSU.

What is data management and sharing (DMS)?

Data management is a set of practices that occur over the lifetime of a research project. These practices include the organization, documentation, and storage of research data. Ideally, they are planned for at the outset of a project and occur continuously and iteratively throughout the course of a project. When care is taken to manage research data thoughtfully, it makes the research process more efficient, facilitates collaboration, and can help prevent data loss.

Effective data management practices facilitate the accessibility of data when a project is completed. Data that is organized and documented is more easily reused by others and helps establish the transparency and reproducibility of research.

Data sharing is the practice of making research data available to others. Data can be made available for sharing by depositing it in a data repository, describing it in a data paper published in a data journal, or sharing it with individual researchers upon request. Before data is shared, it should be preserved.

How does DMS benefit science?

Good data management practices and sharing research data have many systemic benefits. In his Statement on the Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, former NIH director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., says, By committing ourselves to responsible data management and sharing, we are catalyzing the scientific process to accelerate revolutionary discoveries and medical breakthroughs.

Good DMS practices facilitate:

  • Increased Value
    Enables FAIR data so knowledge may be extracted from it by or in collaboration with others.
  • Increased Access
    Data is made as open as possible for anyone to access, use, and share.
  • Less Risk
    Any risks of personal data are assessed, and harmful impacts are minimized.
  • Less Waste & Loss
    Sustainable and secure access to data are enabled and ensured.

How can DMS benefit researchers personally?

In addition to the systemic benefits, good data management and sharing practices can make daily life easier for individual researchers.

Good DMS practices enable:

  • Research Efficiency
    Organized data saves time and effort.
  • Project Continuity
    Enables data to be maintained and used through research staff changes.
  • Compliance
    Adhering to requirements from funders, journals, and institutions.
  • Research Impact
    Data can be shared, leading to collaboration and greater impact.
  • Rigor and Validation
    Data management increases data quality and allows for easier validation of results.

Data Management and Sharing Practices

To learn more about Data Management and Sharing, see the following subsections of this guide:


If you'd like to know more about how to implement data management and sharing best practices, see these sections of this guide: