How to choose the data resource that works best for me?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

More than 100 people wanted to learn more about the Data Management resources presented at the Research Town Hall "Caring for Your Data", on April 10, 2019

"Dear DOSI": Questions from the Audience of our Research Town Halls

Before and after each of our monthly town-halls, ASIST collects questions and topics of interest from the audience

One participant from Duke Global Health Institute expressed an interest in learning more about the differences between various data management resources: “I learned a lot, hearing about all of the different options. But they started to run together for me and became confusing. What are the differences? Why use one over the other? Is there a way to figure out which of the services/platforms/libraries would be the best fit for me? My work through DGHI is international and not with Duke patients. Which of these apply/ do not apply in my specific case?”  

Navigating through so many resources is challenging and one resource will not meet every project’s specific requirements. However, in addition to offering tools, Duke also offers consultative and collaborative support services to help researchers determine the best strategies for their research programs.  For example, myRESEARCHnavigators can offer general advisement about all Duke resources and Duke Data and Visualization Services at the Duke University Libraries offers focused consultations on research data management.

If you are interested to learn more about the resources highlighted at the Town Hall, we suggest that you visit their websites and contact these offices for additional guidance and advice about how to select the resources that work best for you.

Duke Clinical Research Institute: SOAR - Supporting Open Access to Clinical Trials Data for Researchers – presented by Asba Tasneem.

Provide an end-to-end service model (can assist with one or all steps according to need), including deidentification, supporting analytics, assigning data stewards, and repository service.

Duke Health Technology Solutions: Service Offerings and Electronic Health Records (EHR) Enabled Research Support – presented by Armando Bedoya.

Provide self-service tools to utilize Duke Electronic Health Records for Duke research teams and also have a fee for service model where they can collaborate on research development and analysis.  

Duke Office of Clinical Research: REDCap - Research Electronic Data Capture – presented by Marissa Stroo.

Over 3000 institutes use REDCap databases, which can be used for clinical surveys, electronic consent, and data entry forms. REDCap accepts almost all data types, including sensitive data and it offers data entry validation, audit trails, an API, and it’s well supported with weekly office hours and consultation


Duke Office of Clinical Research : PACE  - Protected Analytics Computing Environment – presented by Shannon Widman.

Provides a secure virtual environment for analyzing Protected Health Information sourced from Duke with high computational capacity, allowing access to DEDUCE and REDCap.  All data export requests have to be approved and processed through an honest broker.


Duke University Libraries: Duke’s Research Data Repository and Research Data Management Services – presented by Sophia Lafferty-Hess and Jennifer Darragh.

Provides free data management consultation across the data lifecycle for all Duke researchers.  The Research Data Repository service is now available for formal, public dissemination of full data sets. All data deposits will be curated and reviewed.


More Info at:

Duke Medical Center Library & Archives: Data Catalog – presented by Megan von Isenburg.

Provides systemic review services, archival of research records for historic preservation, and offers the data discovery database, Data@Duke.  This data catalog does not directly store data, but rather provides a discoverable catalog of data of any type, serving as a matchmaker between researchers and datasets.


Office of Information Technology: Research Toolkits, Duke Compute Cluster, Singularity containerization – presented by Mark DeLong.

Focused on providing consultative services to unlock the potential for discovery within large and computationally challenging data sets.  The Duke Compute Cluster is a set of large machines with 11,000 CPU cores, and has options for containerization. The Research Toolkits are relatively smaller virtual machines available to all faculty.


Duke Office of Scientific Integrity: LabArchives Electronic Research Notebook – presented by guest speakers from LabArchives, Hannah Clark and Debbie Cole.

The Duke Office of Scientific Integrity, ASIST team offers support to investigators on several research integrity programs.  Highlighted at this event was the new LabArchives electronic research notebook, available now to everyone at Duke for free: organize, store, and share your research data and documentation for your research program.


Information Security Office: IT Security Offices Consultation – presented by Shelly Epps.

Provides services and tools to help researchers secure information and data.  This office ensures Duke storage options and mobile applications are secure and information is backed up appropriately. Additionally, this office writes data and information policies, and provides education and outreach programs.


Research Data Security: Protected Research Data Network and collaborative services – presented by Rachel Franke.

Provides end to end services for investigators working with sensitive or restricted data sets (non-Duke PHI), with support for project documentation, space for computational and storage of the data and assistance with other associated steps, such as data transfer agreements.

Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) Core: Collaborative analytic and research design services – presented by Gina-Maria Pomann, PhD.

Supporting biostatistical and computational collaborations with Duke investigators on all data types (quantitative and qualitative).  This program has built a strong network across Duke, and also serves as a resource for facilitating collaborations with other statistical and computational experts on campus.

Access the online request form

Duke Institute for Health Innovation: DIHI Data Pipeline – presented by Michael Gao.

Collaborating on innovative projects with investigators, using modern statistical methods and machine learning to access patient data with the ultimate goal of improving health care and patient outcomes.