Tools for Sharing Active Data with Collaborators
Sharing data can be frustrating and time consuming if not planned for adequately. This includes communicating with your collaborators what types of data will be shared, the file formats, data definitions, and security against disclosure. Your best option depends on the size of data, frequency of sharing, the remoteness of your collaborators, and how you want to access the data itself. Case Western Reserve University provides many different tools for sharing data that can be used to collaborate with and can offer assistance in selecting the appropriate tool.
Please keep in mind that depending on your discipline you may be required to have data use agreements in place with your collaborators.
Collaboration with Different Institutions
You can sponsor collaborators using the university affiliate account form. This will allow you to share data using university resources in a secure manner.
Copying Data for Collaboration
If you plan to copy or transfer your data to a collaborator there are several options.
For smaller amounts of data:
- Utilize SFTP or SCP to the system you plan to deposit the data to.
- Upload data to a cloud storage system like and share to an affiliate account holder.
For larger amounts of data, or if the network is slow:
- Globus is the preferred option because it can handle interruptions and is designed to be highly performant depending on the network connection. Research Computing can help set up Globus in your lab and provide training. More information can be found at GlobusOnline.
Below, please find some tools and resources that may be useful in storing and sharing your research data.
Cloud Storage Options for Sharing
UTech provides Google Drive, Box, Microsoft 365, Github, and other tools that provide the ability to share and collaborate. They are useful for documents, spreadsheets, source code, and images that do not take up large amounts of space.
The Open Science Framework (OSF)
Many research projects require collaboration between researchers both within CWRU and other institutions. OSF is a platform that unites many of these resources so that users can access shared files between sources like Box, Drive, Github, and more in a single place. Using OSF to store and share your data and files enables granular privacy control for digital objects uploaded to the platform. Keep your data and project files organized across many platforms by making an OSF project and connecting it to your other storage platforms like Box, Drive, and more.
DMPTool is a web application that helps researchers create a data management plan (DMP) for their grant application. It provides assistance throughout the process of writing a DMP, including advice about what to include in order to satisfy institutional as well as prominent granting agency requirements. Learn more about the DMPTool.
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases. While REDCap can be used to collect virtually any type of data, it is specifically geared to support online or offline data capture for research studies and operations.
Access REDCap by contacting the representative at the following institutions:
- Case Western Reserve University
- University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
- Email Cleveland Clinic
- Email MetroHealth Medical Center
- NNLM National Center for Data Services Data Glossary
- This resource is created and maintained by the NCDS and connects and defines concepts, services, and tools relevant to librarians working in data-driven discovery.
- Research Data Management Terminology
- The goal of this guide from the Committee on Data of the International Science Council is to gather the key terms needed for a common understanding of the research data management domain.