|Weekly News Digest
October 4, 2012 — In addition to this week's NewsBreak(s), the editors have compiled the Weekly News Digest, featuring stories from the week just past that you should know about. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.
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California Digital Library and Partners Launch DataUp
The University of California’s Digital Library (CDL) and its partners launched DataUp, a free data management tool. Researchers struggling to meet new data management requirements from funders, journals, and their own institutions can now use the DataUp Web application and a Microsoft Excel add-in to document and archive their tabular data.
Scientific datasets have immeasurable value, but they are useless without proper documentation and long-term storage. Data sharing also is strongly encouraged in the scientific community but is not the norm in many disciplines, including Earth, ecological, and environmental sciences. DataUp addresses these issues.
CDL partnered with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Microsoft Research Connections, and DataONE to create the DataUp tool, which is free to use and creates a direct link between researchers and data repositories. CDL also announced that the DataUp project has been contributed to the Outercurve Foundation’s Research Accelerator Gallery.
The DataUp add-in operates within a program many researchers already use: Microsoft Excel. The web application allows users to upload tabular data in either Excel format or comma-separated value (CSV) format. Both the add-in and the web application allow users to do the following:
- Perform a “best practices check” to ensure data are well-formatted and organized
- Create standardized metadata, or a description of the data, using a wizard-style template
- Retrieve a unique identifier for their dataset from their data repository
- Post their datasets and associated metadata to the repository.
Although hundreds of data repositories are available for archiving, many scientific researchers either are unaware of their existence or do not know how to access them. One of the major outcomes of the DataUp project is the ONEShare repository, created specifically for DataUp, where users can deposit tabular data and metadata directly from the tool.
An added advantage of ONEShare is its connection to the DataONE network of repositories. DataONE links existing data centers and enables users to search for data across participating repositories by using a single search interface. Data deposited into ONEShare will be indexed and made available by any DataONE user, facilitating collaboration, and enabling data re-use.
Source: California Digital Library
Paula J. Hane
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