How do you know if you're ready to share your data? What do you need to think about in advance of depositing?
Before you deposit in Edinburgh DataShare you need to prepare and organise your material, and decide on a number of things. This checklist should help you preparing your deposit, thinking about and collecting information for your metadata, and deciding under which license you want to publish your data in the repository.
Have you registered?
Have you been assigned to a community?
Have you been assigned to a collection?
Register on Edinburgh DataShare with your EASE login or EASE Friend login, and wait for a confirmation email.
Reply to the confirmation email indicating your research Community and the name of the Collection you want to deposit in. Indicate the names of all those who should have deposit rights (including yourself) and provide a short description.
Are you depositing an individual dataset or item?
Are you depositing multiple datasets or items?
Think about the granularity of your data and the dependent ancillary files which compose your data.
Decide on how to structure your data. In some cases your research data will be composed of different files that belong to one single dataset, but in other cases your data might need to be segregated across a number of datasets.
Have you structured and labelled your data in a consistent manner?
Which format(s) will you deposit to help ensure the broadest accessibility by others now and in the future?
Are there any discipline specific data formats? Does DataShare specifically support those format(s)?
Have your data been created, edited or compressed with specific software(s)?
Ensure your files are labelled as explicitly as possible, to facilitate peers to easily access your data.
Your file(s) should be future-proof and if possible not dependent on proprietary software formats. We recommend:.csv, .txt, .xml, .tiff, .mp4, especially. You might want to deposit more than one format of the same item.
Note any processes by which the data have been transformed, which version of the software created the resulting item(s). If possible include which compression, codec and bit rate was used. This can be entered in the "Description field" of the metadata you will enter.
Have you prepared documentation files for your dataset(s)?
Have you spelled out acronyms and explained the labels of your variables and values?
Have you included research methodology reports and any other relevant information?
This documentation should give adequate information about what data is included and how it’s structured. We recommend you include a “readme.txt” file with your dataset and collection.
Do you have all the rights to make the data available?
Have you received permission from all other right-holders?
Do you have data citations ready for any underlying "source" data (such as base maps)?
Have you sufficiently anonymised your data, or obtained explicit consent from any data subjects whose identity could be revealed from the data (including images)?
Are you aware of, and are you comfortable with what rights you are passing on to the repository/University of Edinburgh?
You can prove that you have all the rights to deposit your data in DataShare, and are aware that if the repository receives proof of copyright violation, the relevant item(s) will be removed immediately.
You have been given permission by all right-holders (data collectors, performers, people documented in audio-visual form) to make the data available on DataShare, and that all right-holders agree on the specific licence given to the data.
You are aware of the rights you are giving to the repository service through the depositor agreement and their policies regarding retention, file migration and withdrawal of items.
Does your data item require an embargo period before it is made open access?
Depending on your agreement with your funding body or your publication schedule, you may require this option. You can keep your data stored in the repository for up to 5 years before it is made openly available.
The advantage of using the embargo is that the metadata and documentation are prepared at the time of deposit, when the research is still fresh on your mind, instead of at a later date when you might have forgotten the details.
When an item is under embargo, the metadata record and file names are visible, but the file contents cannot be viewed or downloaded.
Have you considered the use of an open licence for your data?
Do you know about the default open licence used for repository material?
Are you prepared to fill in a rights statement, if no licence is chosen?
You have two options at the licensing stage. The Open Data Commons Attribution licence (ODC-BY) is recommended by DataShare as this allows users to make use of your datasets, as long as they acknowledge your deposit.
ODC-BY is similar to the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY), but is written specifically for databases/datasets rather than creative expressions.
Alternatively, select 'no licence’ and you will be prompted to fill in your own Rights statement instead.
This article was published on Nov 7, 2013