Academic and hospital libraries that offer data services often provide guidance and training on data sharing and reuse, covering topics such as:
funder/journal requirements for sharing
the benefits of data sharing such as enhanced transparency and reproducibility and the potential to find new collaborators
proper documentation to accompany a dataset
how to identify appropriate data repositories and evaluate them to determine the most suitable
locating existing datasets for reuse
In 2017, we at the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System, decided it was time that we “practice what we preach” and over the next two years deposited four datasets from our own research into the repository figshare. Our initial goals were to:
understand and document the data deposit workflow in order to assist researchers
facilitate requests from colleagues to share our data and survey instruments
make unpublished results discoverable
track the usage of our data
model best practices to researchers and librarian colleagues
Given the new data sharing policy for the Journal of the Medical Library Association that will go into effect October 2019, we believe this last goal is of particular importance.
As the University of Pittsburgh is one of the nine partners of the Data Catalog Collaboration Project (DCCP), in addition to depositing our datasets we also included a metadata record to each dataset within the Pitt Data Catalog. Available datasets to date:
These records increase the visibility of our data (one of the mission statements of the DCCP) and provide an additional access point.
This blog post is adapted from the MLA presentation: Ratajeski, M.A. and Iwema, C.L. (2019, May). Practicing What We Preach: Making Our Own Research Data Open Access. Lightning Talk presented at Medical Library Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.