ONEShare and #OR2012

From Flickr by ~Coqui

One of my UC3 colleagues is at the Open Repositories 2012 Meeting (#OR2012) in Edinburgh, Scotland this week.  This prompted me to ask two questions: (1) What does open repositories mean? and (2) Why didn’t I get to go to Scotland?  Of course, (2) is easily answered by my lack of knowledge about open repositories, i.e. question (1).  After a little internet sleuthing, I’ve figured out what they mean by “Open Repositories”, and I realized that I have first-hand knowledge of a repository that contributes to the ideas of OR, ONEShare.  In this post I will share my newfound OR knowledge and give you the lowdown on ONEShare.

First, Open Repositories.  Just in case you are new to the dataverse (that’s dweeb speak for data universe), a repository is basically a place to put your data.  There are loads of data repositories, and picking one to suit your needs is an important step in data management planning.  So what is this about open repositories?

Here is a bit of text from the OR2011 website:

Open Repositories is an annual conference that brings together an international community of stakeholders engaged in the development, management, and application of digital repositories. …attendees  exchange knowledge, best practices and ideas on strategic, technical, theoretical and practical issues.

Basically, the idea of the Open Repositories group is to share knowledge among those facing similar challenges.  It’s similar to the concepts of Open Science, Open Data, and Open Access: we can accomplish more if we pool our intellectual resources.  Follow the OR2012 meeting via the #OR2012 hashtag.

Now for ONEShare.  This is the data repository we’ve created specially for DataUp users.

The name: ONEShare is called this because it’s closely intertwined with DataONE, the group enabling federation of Earth, environmental and ecological repositories.  Many of the DataONE tools have “ONE” in the title (i.e., ONE-R, ONEMercury, and ONEDrive).

The concept: One of the major features for DataUp is connecting Excel users to a data repository – essentially streamlining the process for depositing and sharing your data.  Although there are many data repositories, none of them allow just anyone to deposit data [Correction! Several allow this. See the comment below].  ONEShare is meant to be a “catch-all” repository for data owners that have no relationship with an existing repository.  Think of it as a sort of Slideshare for data – there is a low bar for participation, and anyone can join.

In a sense, ONEShare is the epitome of the “Open Repositories” concept: a repository that’s truly open to anyone.  Maybe I can represent ONEShare at OR2013 on Prince Edward Island (Oh Canada, how I miss you!).

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3 thoughts on “ONEShare and #OR2012

  1. Matt Jones says:

    Hi Carly — Nice overview of ONEShare, and I like how you put it in the context of other OR efforts. I think there are other repositories that “allow just anyone to deposit data” — actually many. The Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) ( for example, where we have tens of thousands of data objects contributed by “just anyone”, as well as FigShare, GenBank, and many others that are open to contributions. Granted, you need to create an account, but that’s only to keep track of who uploaded what, enabling people to return and manage their own content. Anybody can contribute. I’m looking forward to having ONEShare join the growing group of repositories that are interoperable as part of the DataONE federation — it’ll be a great resource for open science. Of course, once you’ve got all of that Excel data, you have to figure out how to make sense of it — a major challenge unto itself!

  2. Robin Rice says:

    Hi Carly,
    I’m sorry you missed OR 2012 in Scotland – it was a blast, we even had a ceilidh dance. I’d have to say it was also the first one to have significant content around research data repositories. You can find more than one session on the programme with papers grouped around this at

    But reading powerpoints isn’t for everyone. Laura Molloy distilled these data-oriented sessions for the UK’s JISCMRD programme in a blog post –

    And Angus Whyte from the DCC has blogged about Monday’s workshop on the topic of IRs and research data:

    I’m sure the data theme will continue next year if you get to go to PEI.
    Robin Rice
    (DSpace User Group Chair, OR 2012)
    University of Edinburgh

  3. […] Matt Jones and I will be introducing two free, open-source software tools that can help ecologists describe their datasets with standard metadata. The Morpho tool can be used to locally manage data and upload it to data repositories. The DataUp tool helps researchers not only create metadata, but check for potential problems in their dataset that might inhibit reuse, and upload data to the ONEShare repository. […]

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