Data Management Tools

Data management and you

There are many reasons to plan how you will manage the data you have gathered from NRS reserves. For example, the University of California has issued a Presidential Open Access Policy allowing future scholarly articles authored by all UC employees to be freely shared with readers worldwide via UC’s open access database eScholarship. The Presidential Open Access Policy builds upon the Open Access Policy adopted by UC’s Academic Senate on July 24, 2013, which ensures that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge.


Similar open access policies are being adopted by a growing number of funders, including the National Science Foundation. These policies typically require grant recipients to develop data management and dissemination plans, and provide access to metadata, datasets, and publications.

The following tools can help you ensure that your data, research plans, specimen collections, and publications comply with this policy.

Data management tools

NRS Metadata Database

The long history of scientific research at reserves makes them particularly valuable places to conduct experiments. The datasets of previous researchers can spark new questions, add historical perspective, and inform future studies.

The NRS Metadata Database is a digital catalog of existing UC NRS reserve datasets. The NRS requires researchers to submit a description of their datasets to the NRS Metadata Database. Remember, metadata is not the dataset itself. Rather, it describes a dataset’s content, structure, and research context. 

Instructions on how to submit data to the NRS Metadata Database can be found at Submit NRS Metadata.


The Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) is an international repository intended to facilitate ecological and environmental research. It houses metadata gathered from studies conducted at field stations, laboratories, research sites, and individual researchers. KNB offers an efficient way to share, discover, access and interpret complex ecological data. KNB’s data management software is developed in a free and open source manner, so other groups can build upon the tools. Powered by the Metacat data management system, it is optimized for handling data sets described using Ecological Metadata Language, but can store any XML-based metadata document.

Metadata from studies conducted at reserves is stored at KNB. We are working on making it possible to submit metadata from your NRS research to KNB through the NRS’s Reserve Access Management System (RAMS)


Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) is the foundation of new innovative environmental science through a distributed framework and sustainable cyberinfrastructure that meets the needs of science and society for open, persistent, robust, and secure access to well-described and easily discovered Earth observational data. Their Best Practices document is seen as the standard for data collecting. They also have an extensive list of software tools. Data one provides a number of great training modules.


The DMPTool guides you through the process of creating a data management plan to meet funder requirements. It provides the following benefits to researchers:

  • Free step-­by-­step web creation of data management plans for funders
  • Puts you in touch with expert help at your institution and help you comply with your institutional requirements
  • Improves the quality of your research and increase its impact through better data management practices
  • Permits collaborative plan creation and co-­ownership with colleagues
  • Offers institution-­specific templates and help

Data Management Tools 1 a research data repository.

A research data repository is a subtype of a sustainable information infrastructure which provides long-term storage and access to research data that is the basis for a scholarly publication. Research data means information objects generated by scholarly projects for example through experiments, measurements, surveys or interviews.
A research data repository listed in is either:

  • a data provider if it offers research data and its metadata (ideally exposing metadata via interfaces),
  • a service provider (e.g. a portal) if it harvests the metadata of research data from data providers as a basis for building value-added services.

Data Management Tools 2

EDI is actively promoting and enabling curation and re-use of environmental data. They assist researchers from field stations, individual laboratories, and research projects of all sizes to archive and publish their environmental data. EDI is committed to enable data that is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).

They provide support, training, and resources to help archive and publish high-quality data and metadata. They operate a secure data repository and work closely with the LTER Network Communications Office and DataONE to promote data management best practices and stewardship. Thier team consists of highly motivated and experienced data practitioners, software developers, and research scientists.


eScholarship provides a suite of open access, scholarly publishing services and research tools that enable departments, research units, publishing programs, and individual scholars associated with the University of California to have direct control over the creation and dissemination of the full range of their scholarship.

With eScholarship, you can publish scholarly works such as books, journals, working papers, and conference summaries on a dynamic research platform available to scholars worldwide. Publications benefit from manuscript and peer-review management systems, as well as a full range of persistent access and preservation services. eScholarship supports the UC Open Access Policy with deposit and dissemination services for previously published articles.


EZID (easy-eye-dee) makes it easy to create and manage unique, persistent identifiers for digital objects, ensuring their future discoverability. Use EZID to create identifiers for just about anything, including texts, data, bones, terms. Store citation metadata for identifiers in a variety of formats. Update current URL locations so citation links are never broken.

Dash is a simple self-service curation tool for researchers to archive and share their datasets. Data deposited in Dash is available for anyone to access and use, regardless of their institutional affiliation. Several UC campuses have their own instances of the Dash service, and there is a Dash connected to the DataONE repository, ONEShare, that is free for use by anyone.


Merritt is a data repository service from the University of California Curation Center (UC3) that enables the UC community to manage, archive, and share its valuable digital content. The UC Curation Center provides digital library services to the University of California. UC departments and organizations are charged only for the storage used. Merritt lets you:

  • have direct control over the digital curation and management of information resources underpinning scholarly research, such as images, videos, datasets, texts, and more
  • meet the data sharing and preservation requirements of grant-funded projects.
  • provide long-term preservation for digital objects and research data.

figshare logo

figshare is a repository where users can make  all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner.  figshare allows users to upload any file format to be previewed in the browser so that any research output, from posters and presentations to datasets and code, can be disseminated in a way that the current scholarly publishing model does not allow. figshare features aim to help you organize your research and get as much impact for it as possible, without adding time or effort to your day.

Data Management Tools 3

HydroShare is freely accessible to everyone, but primarily was designed for water-resources professionals, researchers, educators, and others interested in water-resources data and tools.  HydroShare is a system operated by The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science Inc. (CUAHSI) that enables users to share and publish data and models in a variety of flexible formats, and to make this information available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner.  HydroShare includes a repository for data and models, and tools (web apps) that can act on content in HydroShare providing users with a gateway to high performance computing and computing in the cloud.

Data Management Tools 4

The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) is an open, networked community that brings together science, data and information technology practitioners. ESIP’s mission is to support the networking and data dissemination needs of the global community by linking observation, research, application, education and the ultimate use of Earth science. You can participate resolving issues of common interest in this intellectual commons for Earth science data in a number of collaboration areas ranging from environmental sensing to energy and climate.