Deposit Data

NACDA welcomes and encourages deposits of digital data. Deposits are made using a secure form to describe the data collection and upload content.

Users must have or create a MyData, Facebook, or Google account to sign in to the deposit form.

For a discussion of best practice in preparing data for sharing, please refer to ICPSR's Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving.

Are you planning your research project, but not sure about how you plan to archive your data afterwards? Check out our Guidelines for Effective Data Management Plans.

NACDA has two options for sharing your data!


NACDA offers curation services as staff obtain, process, preserve, and disseminate electronic data to researchers for secondary analysis in aging research. After a data collection is deposited with NACDA, the data and documentation will be reviewed, enhanced, and made available in several widely used formats, including ASCII, tab-delimited (for use with Excel), SAS, SPSS, and Stata. Documentation is provided as PDF.

Deposit to NACDA


The NACDA-Open Aging Repository (NACDA-OAR) offers free self-publishing options for gerontological researchers to share their research projects. Data collections published in NACDA-OAR are immediately distributed as-is for research use in the same condition and format submitted by the depositor.

Deposit to NACDA-OAR

Tips for Preparing Data for Deposit at NACDA


Fully Document Variables in the data and in the documentation

  • Keep variable names and labels consistent across multiple waves
  • Provide descriptive variable and value labels


Address confidentiality concerns.

  • Remove names, addresses, phone numbers, and other direct identifiers
  • If you need help assessing how the data will be affected by removing specific variables, please contact us.


Ensure integrity of id variables, date variables, numeric variables, and record structure.

  • ID variables should be in character format
  • Dates should be in a character or simple numeric format
  • Make as many variables numeric as possible (except dates and IDs)
  • Convert data to one record per case
  • Standardize and designate special missing


include weights and other technical variables needed to replicate analysis.

  • Imputation flags, survey design variables, case disposition indicators - we need them all!


provide a user guide.

  • We have a variety of users - independent of their skills and experience, they will all be new to your data. Tell them how to use the weights, how sampling occurred, provide the questionnaire and any assistive materials used to facilitate the data collection.

Why prepare your data?

So that your data can be easily reused and replicated.

Preparing your data will help reduce the time it takes to fully curate it, increase secondary usage, ensure consistency in use across statistical packages, and ultimately stand the test of time against changes in technology and software.

How long will it take for my data to be available for download?

The timeframe varies based on priorities and resources. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) funds our project; therefore NIA funded research is prioritized. We also weigh the expected impact to the research community (longitudinal, nationally-representative, multi-domain and panel data is favored).

It also depends on:

  • The # of deposits in our queue pending curation
  • The condition of the materials - consistency of data and documentations
  • Immediate concerns that affect the conversion process - such as variable name issues or date variable formats that differ across the stats packages
  • The size of the deposit - # of variables, datasets, and documents

If you have concerns about the time, reach out to us.
We're happy to work with you!

For deposits that involve physical materials, please email