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New Data Repository for Researchers

The University Libraries are rolling out an improved and upgraded data repository to better support the research mission of Washington University. Formerly known as the Digital Research Materials Repository, the digital platform, now called WashU Research Data (WURD), is a formal research data repository that enables integrated DataCite metadata and supports data review through the Libraries’ data curation program.

WashU faculty and researchers may submit digital data, code, and computational tools generated from research projects. Importantly, the new data repository aligns with emerging requirements for public access data sharing both from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), effective January 2023, and guidelines released by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 2022. WURD also meets the criteria outlined in OSTP’s 2022 recommendations in Desirable Characteristics of Research Data Repositories and helps ensure that WashU research data meets the internationally recognized FAIR principles (findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusabilty).

“With our new repository, we have taken those very stringent requirements and created a resource for WashU faculty and researchers to meet those requirements,” said Jennifer Moore, head of data services in the University Libraries.

Institutional data repositories are a centralized resource in universities to provide long-term access, preservation, and archiving of research data. Given the heightened focus and scrutiny, nationally, surrounding best practices for data sharing in recent times, the new state-of-the-art data repository, implemented by the Data Services team at the University Libraries, aims to support WashU researchers to meet those federal grant requirements.

“Our new repository will make the data findable with unique identifiers, key metadata, and appropriate documentation; accessible through open protocols; interoperable through the curation process which facilitates data use in a variety of programs; and reusable by ensuring it is well documented and working with the researcher to improve its quality,” said Moore.

Data Services is organizing an hourlong workshop several times in January and February to help answer questions about the new data-sharing regulations and support the ability of researchers to comply with these new requirements.