Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Digital Research Data

Date Drafted: July 2014 HM

Purpose or Scope of Collection

A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic Needs

E-science, digital humanities, and other electronic data-intensive research is the new normal in academic research. Scholarly communication is changing to include new formats of information, and the data underlying research is increasingly considered as part of the scholarly record. Creation and use of digital data sets plays an increasing role on campus. Changes in research grant funder requirements to include data management plans that encourage the publication and sharing of data is resulting in the need for more data publication and sharing venues. Disciplinary data repositories, data journals, and/or including data as journal supplementary materials are options available to some researchers in various disciplines. However, not all subject areas and data types have established and reputable data publication and sharing providers.

The purpose of this collection is to house unique digital data materials produced by MSU researchers across disciplinary areas. Therefore, this policy statement concerns digital data produced by the MSU community, distinct from data that is purchased, produced, owned, or curated by third parties. This collection aims to include unique MSU research produced data content that does not unnecessarily replicate data available elsewhere or replicate the data curation services available by disciplinary data repositories. This collection provides a service to MSU researchers in need of data sharing mechanisms. The mission of the Libraries is to support active research and teaching at MSU, to the best of our ability by prioritizing use of limited resources. Since it will not be possible to accept and maintain all data, in perpetuity, our policy and decisions will first support current high-priority activity on campus and consider the overall cost and resource requirements for each potential data set.

Digital data is defined as the primary source materials used in the process of conducting research, in electronic form. Digital data takes a variety of specific formats including numeric, textual, geospatial, audiovisual/multimedia, and more.

B. History of the collection/Existing strengths and emphases

The establishment of this policy in 2014 represents the formal beginning of this collection. Prior to this time, collection of unique MSU produced digital and non-digital materials has occurred on an ad-hoc basis in line with other relevant policy statements. Up until now, collection of digital data sets has primarily focused on commercial subscriptions or connection to government sources

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