Data Archive

Data Management and Curation Services

The Odum Institute recognizes the effort researchers are required to dedicate to managing their research data. Major funding agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) now require grant proposal packages to include a data management plan that outlines characteristics of data, access and sharing policies, provisions for reuse, and plans for preserving the data. Since 2003, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has required that data “be made widely and freely accessible as possible” for projects with budgets of or exceeding $500,000 (NIH, 2003).  Likewise, publishers such as PLOS (PLOS, 2014) have also issued policies to ensure that data are preserved and made accessible. While this benefits the research community by maximizing the utility of research outputs and enabling the validation of published research results, they also place additional burden on the researcher, whose scientific productivity is crucial.
The Odum Institute offers consultation on all aspects of research data management to help ease this burden.  Brief consultations (availability permitting) are offered at no charge to UNC students, faculty, and staff. We offer review of data management plans, assistance with data archiving solutions, and other guidance on planning for and implementing best practices for data management.

Service Levels

To further accommodate the varying data management needs of the research community, the Odum Institute Data Archive offers three specific tiers of data repository support. While the Institute is committed to making research data as openly accessible as possible, we also must take into account the costs associated with staffing and infrastructure involved in data archiving processes that make data discoverable, accessible, and usable over the long term.

Additionally, because funding agencies are making data management a requirement, it is reasonable that the grant proposal budget includes funding for data management. NSF has stated specifically that the budget “address the costs of implementing the Data Management Plan…as long as the costs are allowable in accordance with the applicable cost principles” (NSF, 2010). Similarly, NIH acknowledges the cost of preparing data for sharing with the research community. The NIH Data Sharing and Implementation Guidance (2003) states that “applicants can request funds for data sharing and archiving in their grant application.”  Therefore, researchers may choose to include in their grant budget and its justification the cost of the Odum Institute’s Data Management Services.
To be able to provide services that adhere to established standards of industry best practice for data management and to accommodate the specific needs of the research community, the Odum Institute offers the following service levels at varied prices:


The Odum Institute makes basic data repository tools and resources available to the research community at no cost. These user-friendly tools enable researchers to manage, archive, and share their data. By offering this service at no cost, the Odum Institute demonstrates its commitment to open data, which enables and encourages data sharing. The Self-Service level of data repository support relies on the individual client to perform data management tasks such as preparing data files, generating metadata, and uploading data into the UNC Dataverse while taking advantage of Dataverse training videos and the Dataverse guides. Self-Service includes:
  • Dataverse tool access
  • Persistent identification (DOI)
  • Data citation generation
  • Basic utilization reporting
  • Long-term preservation
  • Standardized metadata
  • Limited user support
Cost: $0

Guided Service

For researchers who would prefer the guidance of Odum Institute Data Archive staff to help ensure compliance with archival standards and best practices, the Institute offers a mid-level Guided Service tier. Guided Service minimizes the initial set-up of the Dataverse, and allows the researcher to perform the less complicated and time-consuming tasks of the data archiving process. Knowledgeable Data Archive staff will work with the client to determine the most appropriate organization of data files, controlled vocabularies for descriptive metadata, and file access levels. At the client's request, Data Archive staff will also provide initial training on use of the Dataverse and avail themselves for assistance througout the process. Guided Service includes:
  • All services included in the Self-Service tier AND
  • Introductory Dataverse training
  • Dataverse branding
  • Dataset collection organization
  • Metadata template development
  • Standard user support
Cost: $3,000 base + per dataset fee*

Lifecycle Service

The Lifecycle Service level provides comprehensive data curation with Data Archive staff dedicated to ensuring the client's data management needs are being met throughout all stages of the research lifecycle from project planning to data archiving. Lifecycle Service includes:
  • All services included in the Guided Service tier AND
  • Data management plan implementation
  • File normalization
  • Comprehensive data review
  • Access policy enforcement
  • Education and training program development
  • Dedicated staff and user support
Cost: $5,000 base + per dataset fee*

Specialized Services

  • Data de-identification
  • Research impact materials development
  • Data security strategies support
The Odum Institute is happy to discuss data management options for your project. For more information about the Odum Institute’s Data Management Services or to obtain a cost estimate, please contact
*The per dataset fee will be estimated based on an initial consultation with project personnel based on the type and scale of the project data.