Providing an avenue to store & share research data online
“I believe in open sharing of scientific data”
-Dr. Logan Trujillo
Storing, sharing and publishing research data online can be a challenging hurdle in the race to coordinate with research partners, meet funders’ requirements, and preserve important research findings.
In fall 2017 University Libraries launched a new online repository for researchers called Texas State University Dataverse that helps make that hurdle less daunting.
Dataverse is a platform for publishing and archiving research data. The software was originally developed by Harvard University. The Texas State University repository is available to all Texas State students, faculty, and staff. It is part of the Texas Data Repository hosted by the Texas Digital Library (TDL), which includes 22 higher education institutions throughout the state. The Texas Data Repository was created through the collaborative efforts of a consortium and committees consisting of 14 Texas university members, including representatives from Texas State.
For Dr. Logan Trujillo, an assistant professor of psychology, Texas State’s Dataverse was a welcome answer to a pressing need. His research project required not only large datasets and a place to publish and share the data. Researching human brain behavior is predictably complex and requires voluminous datasets for analysis.
“I study human perception and cognition from basic and applied viewpoints,” Trujillo explained. “This research is very data intensive and generates a lot of code for analysis. It is difficult to share because the research requires hundreds of megabytes, if not gigabytes, of data.”
Trujillo’s research was funded through a National Science Foundation grant requiring researchers to demonstrate that they have publicly shared their data.
Fortunately for Trujillo, University Libraries had just launched Dataverse as a free, open-source research data repository. College of Liberal Arts grant proposal reviewers told Trujillo about the new resource.
He found the tool easy to use and was able to enter metadata discoverable by search engines such as Google and Google Scholar. He was pleased that the Dataverse not only met grant requirements for data sharing, but also increased the visibility of his work, which will likely lead to increased citations.
“I think it’s a great tool,” he said. “I believe in open sharing of scientific data. It helps to further scientific research because everyone can check and verify results and build on the work of others.”
Trujillo’s paper and data have received many views. His research will help clinicians better conduct and analyze electrophysiological complexities and brain cognition through EEG monitoring of brain activity.
Texas State University Libraries staff were active in the development of the repository serving on the TDL Dataverse Implementation Working Groups, including the policy and governance, technical configuration, and budget and business model subgroups.
“A key component of the library’s strategic plan is to enable scholarly communication through library technology services,” said Dr. Ray Uzwyshyn, director of collections and digital services for University Libraries. He served on several subcommittees for the platform.
“This project provides a new online resource for faculty and students at Texas State in concert with TDL’s other member universities,” he said. “Our Dataverse serves larger missions fulfilling federal grant requirements for faculty and increasing possibilities for online access, collaboration and sharing on global levels.”
After just under a year, Texas State researchers have stored nearly 1,500 files on Texas State’s Dataverse, ranking Texas State next to the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University in terms of its deposit rate into the Texas Data Repository.
To learn more about the Texas State University Dataverse, visit the Alkek Library’s dataverse web page at (guides.library.txstate.edu/datarepository).
By Debbie Pitts