Data Dissemination

The Population Research Institute's (PRI) Computational and Spatial Analysis (CSA) Core provides research support services at all stages of the funded research cycle including disseminating the results of your research. The Core staff can assist you with Web resources such as project websites and interactive data presentations to publicize your research results. The staff can also assist with depositing your research artifacts with a repository for long-term preservation and curation.

There are a number of factors to consider in sharing the results of your research. Some of those issues are discussed here along with some resources that may be useful. The CSA Core is available to help you determine the best option for your particular situation. Contact the CSA Core at to discuss your needs and to learn how we can support your project.

Things to Consider

Sharing your research data can be a benefit to the scientific community allowing fellow researchers to extend your original work or to answer new questions using your data. Sharing your research data also poses some risks. There may be institutional policies, funding agency contractual obligations, or laws that govern how you may share your research data. At Penn State, all research is subject to policies such as:

You should also consider whether there will be any risks to your research participants. Before sharing any research data, you should consider the expectations from the informed consent agreement. Beyond contractual or legal obligations, there may be ethical concerns about privacy, confidentiality, and the appropriate use of the data. You may want to conduct a disclosure review and, if necessary, take steps to limit the risks of disclosure.

Many of these issues would be addressed in your data management plan. The CSA Core is available to help you to meet the requirements necessary for sharing your research data. We can offer consultation on your data management plan or assistance with preparing your data for sharing. Contact the CSA Core at to discuss your needs.

Publicizing your results

Publicizing the results of your research beyond publishing in professional journals can broaden the impact of your work by translating it to the general population. This may include policymakers or segments of the population who may be impacted by your research. Publicity can also serve to highlight the contributions of the PRI, Penn State, and your funding agency.

The CSA Core can assist you with publicizing the results of your research by:

  • showcasing your work on the PRI's website and social media streams,
  • developing a project website,
  • distributing your research data through SodaPop, or
  • developing presentations of your results using ArcGIS or other Web-based applications.

Contact the CSA Core at to discuss your needs.

Long-term preservation

Long-term preservation involves the active management of your digital assets over time to ensure that those assets remain available and usable in the future. Project websites and other solutions for disseminating your research results are often not configured to ensure long-term availability. A number of options exist for the long-term preservation of research products and more are being developed. Following are just a few solutions available to PRI affiliates:

Penn State's ScholarSphere is a secure repository service enabling the Penn State community to share its research and scholarly work with a worldwide audience. Faculty, staff, and students can use ScholarSphere to collect their work in one location and create a durable and citeable record of their papers, publications, presentations, datasets, or other scholarly creations. Through this service, Penn State researchers can also comply with grant-funding-agency requirements for sharing and managing research data.
Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR)
Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR): aims to serve the demographic community by archiving, preserving, and disseminating data relevant for population studies, and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
Data and Specimen Hub (DASH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Data and Specimen Hub (DASH): is a centralized resource for researchers to store and access de-identified data from NICHD funded research studies for the purposes of secondary research use. It serves as a mechanism for NICHD-funded extramural and intramural investigators to share research data from studies in accordance with the NIH Data Sharing Policy and the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy.

The CSA Core can provide consultation to help you in choosing the most appropriate repository for your project. We can also assist you with any data preparation or technical documentation necessary for submitting your data to a repository. Contact the CSA Core at to discuss your needs.


Bachrach, C., & Spittel, M. (2010). Developing a Plan for Data Sharing. In W. Pequegnat, E. Stover, & C. A. Boyce (Eds.), How to Write a Successful Research Grant Application (pp. 369 & 374). Springer US. Retrieved from

Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving: Introduction. (n.d.). Retrieved October 13, 2014, from

Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership of Data & Research at Penn State. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2015, from