Skip to Main Content

Research Data Toolkit: Choosing a Repository

Choosing a Repository

The University Libraries' Carolina Digital Repository & the Odum Institute's UNC Dataverse are both available at no cost to Carolina researchers

The following considerations may help you select the best repository for your data.

See also the Assess Data Needs tab at left.

Do you...
Repository Options
Does your funding agency or journal require a specific data repository? Choose that repository.
Do you have sensitive data? ICPSR is also a service free to UNC affiliates* and it provides a range of options for securing data.  (*The Office for Research pays for UNC's membership in this consortium.) See the UNC ICPSR guide for more information. Neither the Carolina Digital Repository (CDR) nor the UNC Dataverse provides data encryption, but the Odum Institute provides consultations on secure data solutions. 
Does your funding agency or journal require your data be openly accessible? Both the CDR and UNC Dataverse are open access. ICPSR only offers completely open access in OpenICPSR, and for those deposits, depositors themselves may need to pay for data curation and/or restricted access, regardless of their institution's membership in the consortium.
Will you need to add to your data deposit after leaving UNC? The UNC Dataverse provides this flexibility.  The CDR requires an ONYEN to login.
Do you have media-rich data, e.g., images, video and/or audio content? The CDR accepts many file types, and has embedded viewing options for audio, video, and images.
Do you have quantitative data (STATA, SPSS, R, some Excel) that you would like others to be able to manipulate online? UNC Dataverse allows for data exploration online.
Do you want to have your data archived together with the publication in which you cite them? The CDR archives publications as well as data. The CDR and UNC Dataverse both provide digital object identifiers (DOIs) which authors may cite in publications to link readers to related datasets.
What is the (ballpark) size of your data? The CDR accepts up to 500 MB by self deposit, and up to 2 TB with staff assistance by contacting UNC Dataverse accepts self-deposit uploads of 2 GB per file. For individual files over 2 GB in size, please contact for assistance or alternative storage solutions.
Do you need data cleaning or other curation services, or is it ready for deposit? The CDR offers limited data curation services; the Odum Institute offers a range of curation services, with more extensive curation for a fee.
Do you have genetic/genomic data? Consult the list of NIH Data Sharing Repositories for appropriate repository for genetic/genomic data.


Have other questions about finding the right repository? Email

This list includes staff from both the CDR and UNC Dataverse who collaborate to answer data management questions.

Contact Us

For further assistance:

If you would like assistance creating your data management plan or did not find the agency information you needed here, please contact us at