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Many repositories are owned by private entities or funded through grants. What are some ways to tell if a one is going to be around long term?

Amanda.Rinehart's picture
The persistence of data repositories is difficult to unequivocally guarantee, but there are a few aspects that indicate probable durability. The first is an evaluation of the commitment of the organization that owns the repository. How long has the organization and repository been round and what is their reputation within community? What effort have they put into the development? Are they a trusted repository, which requires meeting stringent standards? Typically, sustainability and succession plans need to be addressed prior to awarding the trusted repository certificate. The repositories policies should describe their approach to sustainability, including any agreement(s) the repository has to transfer content in case of an organizational failure. If you don't see a statement addressing sustainability on their web site, email them asking for clarification before depositing your files. Are they a reputable organization, such as a large research institution? What is their funding model? While no one funding model has been demonstrated to be optimal, it is generally agreed that multiple revenue streams, and some sort of core funding, is preferable to depending entirely on cyclical grant funds. For more information, please see: Rob Kitchin , Sandra Collins , Dermot Frost , (2015) "Funding models for Open Access digital data repositories", Online Information Review, Vol. 39 Iss: 5, pp.664 - 681 Whyte, A. (2015). ‘Where to keep research data: DCC checklist for evaluating data repositories’ v.1.1 Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre. Available online: