Science Data Management Storage and Preservation

In addition to data management workshops and outreach, Indiana University provides high-capacity data storage, preservation, and access support free of charge to all affiliated researchers and labs. This service has four components:

Data Storage
UITS has partnered with the IU Libraries to provide free, persistent, indefinite data storage for researchers dealing with "small" and "big" data alike, up to 50 terabytes. (Contact for larger data storage needs).

  • Private Data, Big and Small: All IU-affiliated researchers can sign up for a Research File System (RFS) or a Scholarly Data Archive (SDA) account, which provide private storage for in-progress and complete research data, respectively.
  • Small, Open Data: For files up to 150 MB in size, researchers can upload their data directly to the IUScholarWorks repository platform. For data over 150 MB in size, please contact for special uploading instructions.
  • Big, Open Data: With just a few keystrokes, researchers can transfer data from their RFS or SDA account to our secure IUScholarWorks SDA account. Data stored on the IUScholarWorks SDA account will generate URLs, which anyone can access in order to download data. This data will also be searchable from the IUScholarWorks repository.

To get started making your data Open, visit our guide on How to Prepare Your Data for Submission to IUScholarWorks Repository. For private data, visit the UITS guides on RFS andSDA accounts.

Data Preservation
The IUScholarWorks repository and the SDA provide mirroring, redundancy, media migration, access control, and other security-based services that ensure the data are appropriately archived for the life of the project and beyond the project if necessary.

Data Access
Access to research data is an important issue that many funding agencies take into consideration when awarding grants to researchers. Through IUScholarWorks and the Scholarly Data Archive, Indiana University supports a variety of ways to grant access to your data:

  • Open Data: Researchers can upload their data directly to the web using the IUScholarWorks repository platform, upon which data can be organized and described in a way that will increase its discoverability for other researchers. When data is available freely on the web, it provides a variety of benefits. IUScholarWorks recommends that all non-sensitive data be made openly available.
  • "Embargoed" Data: Researchers can describe their data in the IUScholarWorks repository, while limiting access to the data file itself for up to five years. After the embargo period has expired, data becomes accessible for download. University-supported data storage and preservation is available for those who choose this option. Learn more about the IUScholarWorks Embargo Policy here.
  • Dark Data: For researchers who wish to keep their data completely private and not discoverable via the web, storage is available on the Scholarly Data Archive, provided by UITS. For more information, visit the UITS Knowledge Base article, "At IU, what is the Scholarly Data Archive (SDA)?"

Data Discoverability
You can greatly increase discoverability of your work by supplying meaningful descriptions ("metadata") for files uploaded to the IUScholarWorks repository. Metadata experts are available to help you convert existing information (research methodologies, data dictionaries, etc.) to easily searchable keywords.

Data entrusted to the IUScholarWorks repository is also assigned a permanent URL, called aHandle, which will function in perpetuity—no more broken links. You may also assign your datasets a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), a unique identifier that is becoming a publishing standard, which will help others cite and find your data. Email to learn more about DOIs.

Please note that data stored on researcher or lab SDA accounts is not discoverable by third parties.