Thursday April 27, 2017

Open Access Research Data

By Maureen Schlangen

The University of Dayton Libraries are continuously adding to their expertise on open-access research data and structuring library services to assist faculty and students with data management planning and archiving.

As of October 2015, data management plans have been required with grant proposals in many federal agencies; starting in 2016, many federal awards require the public sharing of research data for the long term.

Faculty consultations with the Libraries since 2016 have resulted in plans to accompany several grant proposals currently under review.

A physics and optics professor, Chenglong Zhao, worked with librarian Jack O’Gorman to develop a plan for storing data for research in progress and later archiving it in a manner consistent with federal guidelines.

Other faculty are working with the Libraries to describe their data and specify appropriate repositories for its storage and accessibility. In 2016, biology faculty member Ryan McEwan approached librarian Meg Barkley about archiving data from a National Science Foundation project to study invasive plants that displace other species in streamside forests and ultimately change the in-stream habitat. The project, still under way, could bring about more effective management of aquatic habitats and riparian zones throughout the region, McEwan says. Open-access archiving of the data in UD’s repository, eCommons, gives it the potential to influence the management of thousands of miles of headwater streams in North America.

Beyond librarian assistance, the University is a member of DMPTool, a California Digital Library resource on data management planning. And, with a new ultra-high-speed workstation called UDSciNet, the Libraries also can provide a means for faculty to access or share large data sets and partner with other researchers and professionals in real time.

— Maureen Schlangen, e-scholarship and communications manager

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