Data Repository Sustainability

Sustaining Data Repositories:  PI Workshop on Creating and Implementing Sustainability Plans

This 1.5 day workshop, led by Jill Parsons and Cliff Duke, was held on January 25-26, 2018 in Alexandria, VA. Twenty-two data repository leaders from a variety of disciplines (including biology, geology, engineering, computer science, math/physical sciences, and social sciences) attended the workshop to identify challenges and opportunities specific to data repository sustainability and to brainstorm collaborative, creative solutions.


The objectives of this workshop were to:

  • Identify challenges and opportunities specific to data repository sustainability;
  • Produce a process guide to help data repository leaders create their own sustainability plans; and
  • Brainstorm collaborative, creative solutions to increase the sustainability of data repositories.


Case Studies: Three case studies were written by Nancy Maron, BlueSky to BluePrint, to accompany the workshop, which highlight three different data repositories and their approaches towards sustainability.

These case studies are available at the links below:

The Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) and the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC)

The Dryad Digital Repository

TAIR and Phoenix Bioinformatics

Workshop Report: Workshop Report: a comprehensive report, describing the challenges and opportunities to data repository sustainability, along with concrete solutions and recommendations, is available at the link below:

View the workshop report

The Process Guide: During the workshop, participants, the organizing committee, and ESA staff worked to produce a guide to help data repository leaders create their own sustainability plans. The Process Guide acts as a step-by-step checklist and contains links to helpful tools and resources. It is currently available for comments, and a second version of the guide will be published here in 2020.

View the Process Guide 

Brought to you by the Ecological Society of America