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Depositing Data to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Data Repository: Data Discovery

This guide provides helpful tips for preparing datasets for deposit in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Data Repository.

Discoverable Data

Before shared data can be resued by others, the dataset must be found. This can be accomplished in several ways. The dataset may be cited in a publication, associated with a researcher's ID, or discoverable through a search. Data that is deposited publicly in University of Nebraska-LincolnDR--as well as data that is registered with University of Nebraska-LincolnDR--is discoverable through the data repository's search, as well as through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries' catalog.

Other considerations for make your data more discoverable are provided below.

Permanent Identifiers

Information on the web is often in flux. Domains change; websites are restructured; information moves. An active URL today may result in a 404 (File Not Found) error tomorrow or in 5 years. This is especially an issue for citing sources. Persistent identifiers are an attempt to provide permanence in this environment by separating location from identification. A persisent identifier is a unique identification assigned to an object (be it a publication or a dataset or some other kind of information). This identifier is then registered with information about the object, including its location (e.g. URL). Then, if the object is moved, the registry is updated with its new location, ensuring the identifier continues to link to the object.

There are several different kinds of persistent identifiers. University of Nebraska-LincolnDR assigns Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to any publicly available datasets deposited with us. The following video by Research Data Netherlands provides a concise explanation of persistent identifiers, including DOIs:

Including a persistent identifier in citations is advantageous, as it will link to the resource in perpetuity, which is not necessarily true for URLs. You can read more about the proliferation of broken links (called 'link rot') in this post on the Future of the Internet Blog, which discusses a study that found more than 70% of the URLs within Harvard Law Review "do not link to the originally cited information".

To learn more about data citation visit University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Data Management Guide and the Digital Curation Centre website.

Scholarly Identification

Most personal names are not unique, can potentially change, and may be ordered differently depending on culture. This makes identifying and linking scientific and academic authors to their contributions (both publications and research data) difficult. There are several resources available to allow researchers to uniquely identify themselves electronically:

  • ORCID (Open Research & Contributor ID) "...aims to solve the author/contributor name ambiguity problem in scholarly communications by creating a central registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers and an open and transparent linking mechanism between ORCID and other current author ID schemes. These identifiers, & the relationships among them, can be linked to the researcher's output to enhance the scientific discovery process and to improve the efficiency of research funding & collaboration within the research community."
  • ResearcherID
    "ResearcherID is a global, multi-disciplinary scholarly research community. With a unique identifier assigned to each author in ResearcherID, you can eliminate author misidentification and view an author’s citation metrics instantly. Search the registry to find collaborators, review publication lists and explore how research is used around the world."
  • Google Scholar Citations
    • "Track citations to your publications
    • Check who is citing your publications. Graph your citations over time. Compute citation metrics.
    • View publications by colleagues
    • Keep up with their work. See their citation metrics.
    • Appear in Google Scholar search results
    • Create a public profile that can appear in Google Scholar when someone searches for your name. "

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Jennifer Thoegersen
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