A milestone for Deep Blue Data

February 8, 2024

Since its launch by the U-M Library in 2016, Deep Blue Data has been providing access and preservation services for digital research data produced or used by the university's research community. Now, the team behind the repository is marking the curation and publication of its 1,000th dataset.

This milestone arrives alongside the January 1 initiation of the university's Research Data Stewardship Policy Standard Practice Guide, which "sets out expectations and guidance for the stewardship of Research Data, focusing on issues of ownership, sharing, and retention." 

It's also just in time for this year's International Love Data Week (February 12-16), a celebration sponsored by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research to raise the visibility of the care and labor that goes into usefully shared data. This year’s theme, “my kind of data,” highlights the unique needs of disciplinary communities and how data shapes our world, especially around issues of equity and inclusion.

Behind that 1000th deposit in Deep Blue (which has data and document repositories) is a team providing prospective depositors with curation services and recommendations that have helped researchers ready their data for reuse by others.

"Our team is very adept at helping researchers at all stages of their projects to identify the right tools and platforms — whether it's Deep Blue or elsewhere — to share and preserve their findings and outputs," said Charles Watkinson, associate university librarian for publishing. Such sharing has the potential to increase the reach and impact of the university's research and creative endeavors, he added. 

Deep Blue Documents has been preserving and sharing articles, chapters, dissertations, conference presentations, media, and other work produced by the U-M community since its founding in 2006. Both repositories serve important functions, especially as institutions and funders increasingly require the public sharing of all kinds of research outputs.

One example of this is a federal mandate to make publicly sponsored research outcomes freely and immediately available, which will take effect in 2025 and which is already having an effect on researcher behavior: deposits into Deep Blue Data have steadily increased since its launch, with 368 datasets in 2023 alone.

Data curious? Here are some things you can do:


by Lynne Raughley


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