Skip to Main Content

Open Access and Data Sharing Mandates

Learn how to comply with open access and data management and sharing requirements.

Choosing a data repository for Element 4 of your DMS Plan

The details of your research and the grant you're applying for will inform which repository you'll include in your Data Management and Sharing Plan, if you are planning to share data. The NIH has guidance on selecting an appropriate repository on, but the hierarchy below is customized to Chapman University researchers and includes additional considerations that may be valuable in the DMSP-writing process. Librarians can help you navigate this process; send us an email at

  1. Firstly, check if the FOA specifies a data repository where resulting data must go.
  2. The NIH ICO you're working with may run or directly support a repository and mandate that appropriate data from projected funded by that ICO be deposited there. For example, a project funded by NIDDK may be expected to deposit in the NIDDK Central repository. A list of repositories supported by NIH ICOs can be found on The National Library of Medicine also maintains a tool for identifying appropriate NIH-supported repositories.
  3.  The location where other researchers in your particular field deposit is the next best place. The goal is to put the data where it’s most likely to be found by people who will use it. Specialized repositories that take data from a subfield or of a particular data type are usually referred to as disciplinary repositories. Tools like the Registry of Research Data Repositories at may help you discover a fitting place for your data. Please contact your liaison librarian and/or Leatherby Libraries Research Data Services for assistance finding a disciplinary repository.
  4. If you have a journal in mind for publishing the results of the study, you may want to check that journal's data sharing policy and if they have a preferred deposit location. The Journal Data Policy Finder tool below may be useful for finding the sharing policies of publishes or journals in your field.
  5. If there is no NIH ICO specified or disciplinary repository appropriate for your data, the NIH directs you to deposit in a generalist repository from the NIH Generalist Repository Ecosystem Initiative group or in an institutional repository. The Chapman University institutional repository, Digital Commons, is suitable for some simple data types but has size and file structure limitations that make it unsuitable for many biomedical uses. If you are unsure what generalist repository would be a good fit for your data, please contact Leatherby Libraries Research Data Services for assistance.
  6. The NIH sharing policy states that small datasets under 2 GB can be uploaded as supplementary material when a paper is published in PubMed Central. This option does not allow for the level of control over your shared data you have when depositing in a data repository and does not result in a DOI.
  7. Self-hosting and ad-hoc sharing, such as through an Electronic Lab Notebook, does not satisfy NIH guidance to use repositories that meet the Desirable Characteristics specified by NIH or the NSTC.