Funding agency requirements for data management plans will affect faculty members and researchers at TDL research institutions who seek grant funding. TDL can offer valuable assistance to these researchers by providing technological resources for disseminating, storing, and preserving data.
The TDL provides DSpace repositories for each of its member institutions that can offer an effective means of archiving and disseminating some research, datasets, and other materials. DSpace repositories are valuable resources for data management in that they provide access to your data online, the ability to effectively document your data, and secure data backup.
DSpace and Access
DSpace is one of the most widely used platforms for open access digital repositories at colleges and universities. It contains built-in workflows for submitting data in any file format and makes the data easily discoverable and accessible online. Content stored in a DSpace repository is indexed by commercial search engines (such as Google) and OAI-PMH harvesters and can be accessed via the repository’s search and browse functions.
Additionally, the TDL repository service provides enhanced file access controls and a third-party, persistent URL service for citing and linking to data. Access restrictions and embargo periods for data can be applied as requested by the researcher and data files easily downloaded by either authorized users or the public.
If you use a TDL DSpace repository to store your data, you may list your repository’s manager as one of the responsible parties in your long-term data management plan.
If you do not know who manages your repository, contact your library or the TDL Program Coordinator at email@example.com for this information.
DSpace and Data Documentation
Data documentation (or “metadata”) is an important component in providing usable access to your data and helps potential users find, understand, cite, and properly use the data you have published.
A dataset deposited in a TDL DSpace repository will capture a basic set of metadata that will describe your data, facilitate its discovery, and let users cite it properly. Among other things a DSpace record will include citation information, data licensing information (such as a Creative Commons license), and subject keywords. Additional metadata fields can be uploaded in a readme.txt file or the equivalent along with the dataset.
You may also discuss with your institutional repository’s local manager ways to include additional metadata with your DSpace records.
Data Security and Backup
The TDL follows best practices in backing up all digital assets stored in its hosted applications.
Files deposited in TDL repositories (and other digital services) are written to two ‘On-Line’ copies within the data center and two (2) ‘Off-Line Archive’ copies outside of the data center.
The ‘On-Line’ data is written to two separate storage volumes. A storage volume is a highly available, highly reliable, persistent storage. Each storage volume is replicated within the Data Center. This prevents data loss due to failure of any single hardware component.
The ‘Off-Line Archive’ copies are made nightly and weekly and are available across multiple data centers. One (1) nightly copy is kept. Three (3) weekly copies are kept. The integrity of the ‘Off-Line’ data is verified using checksums. If corruption is detected, it is repaired using an alternate copy.
A TDL DSpace repository may not be an ideal solution if you need to store a large dataset, especially if you are actively using the data. The TDL may be able to provide you with additional storage capabilities through its relationships with Amazon cloud storage and UT Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center. Please consult with the TDL Program Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss these options.