Emory's Research Data Distribution Fund

Emory University's Research Data Distribution Fund provides funds to support Emory University researchers  depositing research data in an established repository when no alternative funding is available. The goal of the fund is to support sustainable access to research data created by Emory University researchers. A recommended approach is to place research data in established data repositories that provide a sustainable information infrastructure, including long-term storage and persistent access to the research data.

This fund is for research data, not institutional data as defined in the Emory Institutional Data Management Policy: "Institutional Data are defined as all data created, collected, maintained, recorded, managed, or used by University employees in the performance of official job duties to understand and describe the institution and its activities. These data do not include healthcare or faculty research data."

Emory University researchers may apply for the Research Data Distribution Fund by filling out an application. Please see guidelines below for eligibility requirements.


Who is eligible to receive funds?

Emory University faculty, post-docs, researchers and currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students who are the principal investigator or researcher for the project which created the research data are eligible to apply. Preference is given to researchers who have not been previously funded.  Due to limited funds, any given researcher is limited to one funded data deposit per fiscal year.

What data repositories are eligible?

The research data must be deposited with a data repository that does not charge data users for access. To be eligible, data repositories must be listed in the Registry of Research Data Repositories OR meet the stipulations of their registration policy. Currently, major data repositories such as Dryad, openICPSR, and tDAR meet these requirements. Many journals also provide recommended repositories in their data availability policies.

There is an expectation that the research data are made publicly accessible. If a user must request access to the data or if the data has an embargo period, the repository should have clear terms articulating these access restrictions.

Please note that choosing where to deposit data is an individual decision. Researchers should consider the advantages and disadvantages that sharing data in a data repository may present to their career development. We trust that Emory researchers will assess the impact of the repository and consult with a department chair, mentor, or senior colleague when appropriate.

Researchers should also be aware of any compliance or legal considerations that may limit or restrict their ability to distribute data.

How can the awarded funds be used?

Funds are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. The maximum award allocation is $200 per deposit. Due to limited funds, any given researcher is limited to one funded deposit per fiscal year. Funds can be used to cover deposit fees, but not curation costs. If you are collecting a data series which will require multiple deposits over time, please contact us at scholcomm@listserv.cc.emory.edu to discuss funding options.

Due to tax implications, individuals cannot be directly reimbursed through the fund. The best method of fund distribution is for the library to process and pay the repository invoice on your behalf.

What if the research was grant funded?

The Research Data Distribution Fund is a fund of last resort. Data for which alternative funding is available are not eligible. This includes data funded by gift or grant that allows funds to be used for data deposits fees, such as:

  • A granting agency (e.g., NIH),
  • A foundation (e.g., NSF), or
  • Another institution (including Emory itself)

Please note that this policy applies whether or not the particular grant had budgeted for such fees. Data funded by an institution that itself pays data deposit fees on behalf of the researcher are also excluded. A researcher must have exhausted all other grant and other funding sources to be eligible for this fund.

What if I am ineligible for funding?

If you do not qualify for funding through the Research Data Distribution Fund, there are several free data repository options. They include:

How do I apply for funds?

Data to be deposited after September 1, 2017 are eligible for this fund. You may apply for Research Data Distribution Funds by completing a Research Data Distribution Fund Application.

Still have questions?

Please contact us for assistance, or schedule a consultation.

Administration of the Fund

The Scholarly Communications Office of the Emory University Libraries administers the Research Data Distribution fund.  The fund began on September 1, 2017.  The fund is evaluated at the end of each fiscal year.  The fund may be suspended if sufficient funding is not available, which will be announced on this page.  The parameters of allocation may be changed as appropriate with the advice and counsel of the University Senate's Library Policy Committee.