Data Services at the University at Albany are a coordinated effort between the University Libraries, Information Technology Services (ITS), and the Data Management and Analytics Center (DMAC), in collaboration with the Division for Research, Office of General Counsel, and others.
We provide support for finding, managing, analyzing, and sharing and preserving your research data.
Our subject librarians can help you with disciplinary-specific data repository queries.
Explore the Libraries' guide on Data Resources, which offers strategies and resources for locating and evaluating datasets.
The Registry of Research Data Repositories is an interdisciplinary registry of data repositories with global coverage. Use this when starting a project and for guidance finding data.
- Data.gov provides data, tools, and resources to conduct research with the U.S. Government’s open data. UAlbany’s Government Information Research Guides provide additional sources.
- ICPSR is an archive of social and behavioral science data. UAlbany is an institutional member. If you would like to access (or deposit) data there and have questions, contact Angela Hackstadt.
The New York Federal Statistical Research Data Center (NYRDC) operates three secure facilities that provide researchers with the opportunity to engage in approved projects that use the restricted-access microdata collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRW). NYRDC facilities are located at Baruch College, Cornell University, and Yale University. UAlbany is a member of the NYRDC Consortium.
Additionally, DMAC staff can help faculty and research staff obtain data from both governmental and commercial data vendors. The team also assists with negotiating terms with data vendors.
Create a Data Management Plan
Data management planning and data sharing are often required obligations of grant funding. A journal's data sharing policy may require your research data and underlying code is made publicly available as a show of commitment to reproducibility efforts.
Explore ASU Library's DMPTool tutorial for tips on navigating DMPTool.
Contact us about DMPTool or to
have your data management plan reviewed
[NB: Please expect a week’s turnaround time.]
Data Use Agreements
The landscape for data use and storage is complex and dynamic, and the University's process helps safeguard UAlbany faculty, staff, and students and their work while meeting various obligations, such as federal and state laws, for the responsible use of data.
Data use agreements must be reviewed by the appropriate University units and signed by the Controller.
To begin the DUA review process, the Principal Investigator must submit a completed DUA packet for review to email@example.com, which includes
- a completed Data Use Agreement Intake Form and the Data Use Agreement, and
- all other forms requiring a University signature.
Researchers can anticipate the process taking 4-6 weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of the agreement.
The DUA intake form required to start this process may be found at the Office of Research and Regulatory Compliance website.
Manage Secure Datasets
ITS advises faculty about data security and storage options. Data should be classified using the ITS data classification standards.
ITS is developing a protected cloud enclave to support UAlbany research needs and meet new federal compliance.
As you start to think about organizing and describing your data you may also find some of these resources helpful:
Cornell’s Research Data Management Service Group’s data management best practices, which offer guidelines for data citation, file format and management, and more.
ICPSR’s Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving, “a compilation of best practices gleaned from the experience of many archivists and investigators.”
NISO’s Research Data Management Primer, which aims to introduce researchers to the basics of data management.
Collect and Document Data
DMAC can provide support with survey data collection as well as qualitative and mixed methods approaches.
DMAC and the Libraries offer data documentation support (e.g., metadata and “read-me” consultations), so critical for finding, using, sharing, and preserving data. To help get you started, you may want to explore the following:
Contact Scholarly Communications for additional support.
Store and Analyze your Data
ITS provides 10 TB of shared storage for research groups and a 10-GB home directory quota, accessible either on personal computers or the general purpose cluster. Research directory storage is encrypted at rest, compressed, de-duplicated, and is backed up via "snapshot" daily for 21 days and hourly for the past 23 hours.
ITS manages local high-performance computing (HPC), including a 33-node research cluster for general purpose use. All researchers at the university can leverage this instrument to enable scientific discovery. Find ITS's research-specific computing how-to articles and real-time cluster availability.
ITS offers personalized help including grant consultation, data analytics or visualization collaboration, software installation on the cluster, and resource optimization support, along with other support services.
All faculty at the University with National Science Foundation (NSF) funding have free access to XSEDE, an NSF-funded HPC system that scientists can use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise. To get started, contact Spencer Bruce (ITS, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kevin Tyle (DAES, email@example.com), UAlbany's XSEDE Campus Champions.
ITS's Data Classification Standards, which detail what controls are needed to protect data confidentiality, integrity, and availability, and Category 1 Data Storage Standards, which identify approved or recommended storage solutions, are helpful resources to consult when starting a project.
In addition, in collaboration with ITS, DMAC provides storage and security support for research projects.
If your data will include human subjects data or animal use data, your data management and data sharing plans will need to be provided to the Intuitional Review Board (IRB) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), as appropriate. The IRB and IACUC review plans for managing data as part of the study protocol review.
Find more information about IRB and IACUC services.
Data Management and Security Considerations
Federal sponsors have implemented a variety of data management, security, and sharing policies that apply to grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts. Within these policies, there is an inherent tension between sharing and safeguarding research data of which researchers need to be mindful as they develop a data management plan.
Sponsor requirements for data management and protection can often be found in the agency’s granting or procurement policies, the funding solicitation, and/or in the funding agreement.
Find an overview of data sharing requirements for several major sponsors as they apply to grants at SPARC's online resource, Data Sharing Requirements by Federal Agency. Please note, however, that within the same agency data sharing policies will differ if you are funded through a contract instead of a grant.
If you have questions about the specific data sharing and security requirements in your proposal or sponsored project, please contact your Research Administrator.
Updated National Institutes of Health Data Management and Sharing Policy
For all research applications with due dates on/after January 25, 2023, NIH requires a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP) to be submitted with every proposal that generates scientific data.
In this DMSP, researchers must indicate how data generated from the project will be preserved and shared as required.
You may find an overview of these requirements, tips on writing your plan and sharing your data, and links for additional support on the Libraries NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy LibGuide.
For more information on this policy, please visit the NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy Overview webpage.
Workshops and Resources
You can explore and register for the Libraries' current Research Data Management workshops.
Select recordings of Data Services presentations follow:
- Learn about UAlbany's data use agreement approval process, data management planning resources, and the systems available for secure data storage and processing in this Research Coffee Hour presentation.
- Catch up on details of The 2023 NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy: What Researchers Need to Know, featuring NIH's Taunton Paine and Cindy Danielson.
- Get started with our quick DMPTool Tutorial, which walks you through this free online tool and the UAlbany resources embedded within it.
- Explore Research Data Management: Tools and Tips if you’re looking to better manage your data and aren’t sure where to start.
- Need help with visualization? Introduction to Tableau for Data Visualization will help you get started with the basics of importing data, making basic charts, and creating dashboards in Tableau. Introduction to Voyant Tools for Text Analysis introduces you to this free, web-based tool for analyzing and visualizing text.
Please contact us if you would like to request a Data Services workshop.
Please contact us with any questions you may have. We are here to help.
Data Services FAQs
We would like to thank MIT Libraries’ Data Management Service, Cornell’s Research Data Management Service Group, UNH’s Data Management Toolkit, NYU Libraries’ Data Services, and UC Santa Cruz Library’s Research Data Management guide for the open licensing of their content, which we used to build this resource for the UAlbany community. Thank you to ASU Library for openly licensing their DMPTool tutorial.