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Research Data Management Basics

Data management is an important part of the research life cycle. This guide covers best practices and resources.

Archiving & Sharing Data at Mason

To start a conversation about publishing your scholarship in the Libraries’ repositories, 
please fill out this short form. 

The Mason Archival Repository Service (MARS) and the George Mason University Dataverse are stable, web-accessible and widely indexed, permanent digital archives for digital scholarly and research materials of enduring value produced by Mason faculty, staff, and students. Each offer persistent URLs (DOI's, handles), searchable metadata, full-text indexing, and long-term preservation. Both are free, secure places to archive and share research output. 

Examples of items in MARS are: journal article manuscripts, conference proceedings, presentations, data, computer programs, theses, dissertations, video, images and audio.

Dissemination Options:


Openly accessible. Anyone may download your data. Metadata and full-text are indexed by search engines to encourage discovery.

Embargoed. If you choose to embargo your data (to delay its release for up to two years after deposit), users and search engines can access metadata but not associated data files while the embargo is in effect. After the embargo lifts, the record becomes openly accessible and users can download your data.

Restricted. If your data cannot be openly shared due to sensitive or rights-restricted information, we will help you find an appropriate repository or storage solution. Depending on the nature of the restrictions, this data can be archived in as a metadata-only record (title, author, abstract) with an email contact to request access to the dataset. The repositories can store the data and release files to certain users upon your request.

Are you interested in pursuing Dataverse or MARS as part of your Data Management Plan? 
Please contact Wendy Mann,

Additional Archiving & Sharing Options

Identifying data repositories for archiving research data and associated research outputs is an important task. If MARS or Dataverse are not appropriate for your data, Data Services can help with locating an appropriate repository and with material preparation and deposition.  

Archiving your data in a domain repository can be used as an alternative to or in addition to MARS or George Mason's Dataverse. Domain repositories are associated with a subject discipline.  Below are major directories for locating a discipline-specific repository:

  • is a registry of research data repositories.
  • Simmons Open Access Directory: Data Repositories is a browsable subject list of repositories and databases for open data. Note: this directory is not as comprehensive as re3data.
  • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is the world's largest social science data archive.
    • See ICPSR's How to Deposit Data information for guidelines on depositing your data.
    • openICPSR is the open access version of ICPSR's data archive.

Some of the cost associated with depositing data in openICPSR may be covered by the libraries' Open Access Publishing Fund. George Mason University is an ICPSR member.

Navigating the IRB to Share Research Data

Originally broadcast on Nov. 28, 2012, this webinar covers working with your institutional review board (IRB) when seeking to share research data.

Data Sharing Policies

Find out what funders, journals and organizations have data sharing requirements: