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Scholarly Communications

In 2003, ACRL defined scholarly communication as "the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to to the scholarly community, and preserved."

Why Share Your Data? 

  • Contribute to the broader research communityData sharing holds much potential for expanding and democratizing access to information and for fostering opportunities for scholars and citizens to make new connections and discoveries. 

  • Amplify your research impactData sharing can lead to increased discovery and relevance of your research.

  • Increase efficiencyProper data management throughout the research life cycle will improve efficiency, maximize resources.

  • PreservationLong term preservation of your data is vital to maintaining access to and use of your research.

  • Data integrityData management planning is key to assuring the accuracy and consistency of your data, and maximizing its potential for future analysis and use. 

  • Funder MandatesGrants from many funding agencies now require a data management plan that outlines and guarantees persistent, public access to your research data.

Learn about the Open Data movement! 

Citing data

Data, just like other scholarly outputs, requires citations to acknowledge the original author/producer, and to help others locate the resource. Check with the repository from which you have accessed the data first for preferred citations. If no guidance is provided, a dataset citation includes all of the same components as any other citation:

  • author -- who created this data set? Could be an individual, group, or organization. 
  • title -- does the data set have a title, or does the project have a name? 
  • year of publication - when was the data created, or published online? 
  • publisher -- for data this is often the archive where it is housed. There might be publisher and distributor of the data that both need acknowledgment. 
  • edition or version -- Is there a version number associated with the data?
  • editor -- is there an editor of this version? 
  • material designation -- what type of data is it? 
  • access information  -- a URL, DOI, or other persistent identifier)

Standards for data citations have not been codified internationally, though many data providers and distributors and some style manuals do provide guidelines. University of Michigan offers this great resource for data research data. 

Using data

Data that is in the public domain or licensed under a Creative Commons license allowing re-use (such as a CC-BY license) can be freely downloaded and re-used by researchers. 

If you are interested in using a data set that is not licensed in such a way, you can request a non-exclusive license from the copyright holder. 

In addition, if your use creates something new, it may fall under constitutional protection afforded by US Copyright Law's Fair Use provision, which allows use of copyrighted material without permission after balanced against the following four factors:

  • the purpose and character of your use
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market.

Still confused? This site has lots of great info, or contact! 

Find several repositories of open datasets here.

W&M Libraries Data Services

William & Mary Libraries will archive datasets and their documentation in W&M ScholarWorks, supporting the data through changing technologies, media, and data formats.  William & Mary Libraries provides guidance and support for all aspects of the data lifecycle, from planning data management strategy through preserving data at the conclusion of the project, and works with researchers to insure this process includes appropriate documentation and requirements for data integrity. 

A standardized metadata record for the data will be added to repository. This record includes a standardized data citation with a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to provide permanent linking and access, gives credit to the research team, and enables users to obtain a copy of the product.  W&M Publish provides public, open access to the deposited data, via full-text searchable records, making them discoverable through Google, Google Scholar, and other large search engines.

Read more on how to submit your data here