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Office of Polar Programs Repository & Resource Page

Motivation: The NSF policy on dissemination and sharing of research results states that Principal Investigators (PIs) are expected to share the data, physical samples, code, and other supporting materials (characterized as "data" below) created or gathered in the course of work under NSF-funded awards with other researchers and the public within a reasonable time. Data-sharing holds numerous benefits, including enabling broader research collaboration, facilitating transparency, solidifying confidence in scientific research, enabling reuse of data or samples, and providing increased resources for teaching and education purposes. Research articles containing a link to data in a repository have markedly higher usage and visibility. Discoverable and citable data also serve to reduce barriers to entry for junior researchers, scientists from under-served communities, and researchers from underrepresented and minority groups, thus enabling improved implementation of open science principles. With these aims in mind, OPP expects all data, samples, and code to be as open as possible within ethical parameters.

As expressed in NSF 22-106 ("Dear Colleague Letter: Office of Polar Programs Data and Sample Management Policy"), instead of generalist repositories, OPP PIs should make full use of community-accepted, disciplinary repositories. OPP-funded data centers can support PIs in developing and implementing their Data Management Plans (DMPs) which will provide open, ethical, and timely access to quality-controlled and fully documented data, samples, software/code, and products during and at the conclusion of the project.

In addition to conversations with the relevant Program Officer(s), this resource page is intended to help OPP PIs identify appropriate repositories and resources as they develop and implement DMPs. Each DMP should be appropriate for the data, software/code, physical samples, and other research materials being generated, and each should reflect the best practices and standards in the area(s) of research being proposed (e.g., Indigenous Knowledge protocols, vertebrate subject protocols, environmental regulations, permitting, etc.).

Considerations include the following:

OPP funds data centers to help PIs and researchers to meet their needs for archiving and sharing data and products — including support for the development of DMPs, minting DOIs, facilitating data access, providing training, and more. OPP recommends that PIs:

  • Communicate early with target repositories to ensure that appropriate resources are available,
  • Use archived examples and/or the repository's preferred tool to create DMPs (e.g., the DMPTool for the ADC or ezDMP for the USAP-DC),
  • Take advantage of free training in general data management best practices and the use of NSF-funded repositories and community offices (e.g., ADC, USAP-DC, ESIP, and others), and
  • Share DMPs with OPP-funded repositories to help the repositories serve users, provide examples for others, and encourage accountability.

OPP-Funded Repositories

Representative Disciplinary Repositories

Generalist Repositories

  • Zenodo (Note that while GitHub may be appropriate for code collaboration and versioning, it is not an appropriate long-lived archive. GitHub can easily deliver a static, citable version to a generalist repository like Zenodo, which will mint a DOI, with metadata reported to the ADC and/or USAP-DC, or static versions can be deposited in appropriate disciplinary repositories above, which will also mint a DOI.)
  • Searchable global registries of data repositories provide information on indexed repositories to help researchers identify the most appropriate ones, for example, Registry of Research Data Repositories and Designing Materials to Revolutionize our Future Software & Data.

Other Resources:

If you have suggestions for repositories or resources that should be included on this list, please contact and