Innovative Scholarly Initiatives

MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

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Data Sharing, Archiving and Preservation

Researchers face increasing requirements for data sharing and publication. As a recent and notable example, in February 2013 the White House Office of Science and Technology released their memorandum, "Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research" (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/22/expanding-public-access-results-federally-funded-research). The memo, which closely followed the introduction of the bipartisan Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act, or FASTR (http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/350?q=s350), requires among other things that organizations conducting Federally sponsored research will "maximize access, by the general public and without charge, to digitally formatted scientific data created with Federal funds" (Holdren, 2013 http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/ostp_public_access_memo_2013.pdf).

While Federal and institutional policy continues to evolve, the University Libraries already provide a number of services to assist researchers with the fulfillment of any data publication or archiving requirements they may face.

Metadata and Discovery

The availability and integration of metadata standards varies across disciplines. In the social sciences, the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI: http://www.ddialliance.org/) is a widely used and robust standard which has been incorporated into both repositories (ICPSR: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/landing.jsp) and desktop applications such as Nesstar Publisher (http://www.nesstar.com/). As a result, researchers who record and document their data using DDI aware applications benefit from a streamlined submission process to ICPSR or similar repositories when the time comes to publish their data. Commonly used metadata standards in other domains include EML, the Ecological Metadata Language within the earth sciences and ISO 19115 for geospatial information. Adoption of these standards within their respective research communities fosters the  interoperability of data and systems, enabling the development of dynamic portals such as RGIS, the New Mexico Resource Geographic Information System (http://rgis.unm.edu/).

For those domains which lack a widely adopted or robust metadata standard, general purpose standards including Dublin Core are available and can be adapted to suit a variety of purposes. Data librarians are available to consult with you regarding the selection and application of an appropriate metadata standard for your project:

  • Identification and implementation of domain specific standards including DDI, EML, DarwinCore, or others.
  • Customized applications of general metadata standards.
  • Selection and application of controlled vocabularies and keywords.
  • Installation and training using schema aware applications including Nesstar Publisher (DDI), Morpho (EML), ArcGIS (FGDC or ISO 19115) or others.
  • Meeting the metadata requirements for submitting your data to the University's institutional repository, LoboVault (http://repository.unm.edu/), or to domain repositories including ICPSR, GenBank, and others.

Data Curation

Often, some degree of standardization and quality control must be implemented before data can be published through an institutional or domain repository. The curation process may be as simple as running a virus scan on a directory, or may be more complex and require the creation of chain of custody metadata, file reformatting, etc. Services provided by the University Libraries to support the data curation needs of faculty researchers include:

  • Data and file format conversion.
  • Data integrity review (file format validation, anti-virus and checksum scanning).
  • Creation of chain of custody and other preservation metadata.
  • File transfer and archival storage.

Data Archiving and Preservation

Similar to the situation described above regarding the adoption of metadata standards, it is also the case that researchers in multiple subject areas benefit from access to established repositories such as the Protein Data Bank (PDB: http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/home/home.do), while other domains lack an easily accessible or community supported repository. Even in cases where an established repository exists, it is not always preferable or practical to publish data there. The ICPSR, for example, does not generally publish small data sets.

In all cases, University of New Mexico faculty are encouraged to submit their data for publication in LoboVault, the University's institutional repository: http://repository.unm.edu/. LoboVault is an open access repository which hosts scholarly publications and research data sets produced by UNM faculty and research centers, and is harvested and indexed by services including Google Scholar. Data librarians are available to support the submission of data sets into LoboVault through:

  • File transfer for large or complex data sets.
  • File format conversion and quality control.
  • Metadata creation.

Data sets archived in LoboVault receive permanent unique identifiers for cross referencing or linking within associated publications, and are preserved for the long term on an archival storage system which is subject to daily backup and periodic file integrity checks. To learn more or inquire about publishing your data in LoboVault, please contact any of the subject specialists below. If no data librarian for your subject area is listed, please contact Jon Wheeler at (505) 277-1687 or via email at jwheel01@unm.edu.

Dan Barkley
(Political Science & Government Information)

Karl Benedict
(Geography & Earth Sciences)

Jennifer Laws laws@law.unm.edu
(Law Library)

Todd Quinn
(Business & Economics)