Archive Your Data

DISC staff has a long tradition of assisting investigators in the production and preservation of public use files that will facilitate the dissemination and utilization of their data by others. DISC is happy to accept data for inclusion into the library collection that have been acquired or collected by researchers who wish to ensure preservation and provide wider access.

In recent years, major funding agencies have begun requiring principal investigators to include a data sharing plan in their grant proposals. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has had a data-sharing policy in effect since 2003; the National Science Foundation (NSF) began requiring data-management plans with new grant applications as of January 2011.

Our staff has the expertise to help you with your data sharing plan in your proposal planning and writing stage. We can work with you to design a management scheme for data collection and data processing once your project receives funding. Toward the end of your project, we can assist you in the production and preservation of public use files to meet the data sharing requirement. As an archive, DISC can provide your data and documentation files a permanent home, preserving your work for future users.

The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) has a useful guide on social science data preparation and archiving. We recommend this best practice guide for managing your research data throughout its project life cycle. Additional information is available here at UW-Madison from Research Data Services.

If you are interested archiving your data with DISC, contact our library staff as early in the collection stage as possible. Even if you do not wish to publicly distribute your data until later, library staff can help you set up documentation procedures that will ensure the data are useable by others. Other considerations include ensuring confidentiality, documenting sampling and coding procedures, and deciding on a useful format.

Please see DISC's Archival Deposit Form (Word), and visit our Online Data Archive to view some classic archival datasets. In addition, we can publish your data in our BADGIR (Better Access to Data for Global Interdisciplinary Research) catalog. Within BADGIR, users can browse or search data documentation including metadata and codebooks and summary statistics like mean, variance and frequency counts. Registered BADGIR users can also create cross-tabulations, perform regression analyses and download data in SAS, SPSS, Stata, Microsoft Excel and delimited format.

DISC staff is happy to discuss our archive service with members of the social sciences community on campus. Please contact us at 262-0750 or