Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Data

Analysis of the Subject Field

Data is a format and not a subject. Resources may be multidisciplinary or subject specific.

A. Chronology of the subject

Both current and historical materials are collected.

B. Languages of resources collected

English preferred. Non-English languages may be considered for subject specific resources, particularly for Area Studies.

C. Geography of the subject

Materials of relevance to Michigan and the United States, as well as international resources are all collected.

D. Format of the resources collected

Machine-readable data must be in a format compatible with software systems in current use, preferably with a proprietary-agnostic format. We mostly purchase datasets that we are able to host on our library server space or is hosted by the vendor. User-friendly online interfaces are preferred. We also must take into consideration file size if it is something we must host. Do we have the resources and ability to make it available?

The following data format and access options are currently included within the scope of the collection:

  • Mounted on library server with IP-access (e.g. Cross-National Time Series Data Bank)
  • Online licensed databases with IP-access (e.g. Social Explorer)
  • Online licensed databases with dedicated terminal access
  • Online data repositories with institutional memberships (e.g. Dryad)

Data sources are included in the collection via inclusion in the library catalog, e-resources, and/or research guides.

E. Date of publication of the resources collected

Generally, recently published materials are collected. Important historical resources may be considered.

F. Documentation and Data Quality

Quality of the data will be considered and adequate documentation must be included.

G. Licensing and Access

Considerations include availability of data to walk-in users and remote access. Data must be available to all current MSU students, faculty, and staff. Like any license we review, it must be something that we can agree to and sign. Confidential restricted data is not acquired.

We do purchase data and also subscribe to data. While owning data can be preferred, it is understood that subscriptions may be the only option. 

H. Selection Responsibility

We do have a person with a data fund that is multidisciplinary. Anyone with interest in any data should reach out and they can work together to investigate the possible purchase.