We have previously talked about finding Open Access datasets using Google Dataset Search, but what resources exist for scholars who wish to create a dataset which will be useful to others in an Open Access format?

Guidelines for making digital datasets findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable were published in 2016 as the FAIR Principles by the GO FAIR Initiative. GO FAIR also published a detailed handbook, How to be FAIR with Your Data: A Teaching and Training Handbook for Higher Education Institutions, and a report titled Good Practices in FAIR Competence Education.

For readers interested in a briefer, more general summary The Public Library of Science (PLOS) offers “A Reviewer’s Quick Guide to Assessing Open Datasets.” This overview is intended for those reviewing Open Access datasets and boils the principles down to five easy to understand criteria.

Finally, for those interested in how publishing datasets as Open Access might be viewed as part of a tenure and promotion application, Juan Pablo Alperin, Lesley A. Schimanski, Michelle La, Meredith T. Niles, and Erin C. McKiernan have authored the book chapter “The Value of Data and Other Non- traditional Scholarly Outputs in Academic Review, Promotion, and Tenure in Canada and the United States.” Among other questions the authors analyzed, “To what extent and in which ways are data-related outputs mentioned in RPT [review, promotion, and tenure] documents?” The authors find that while R-type institutions have more varied criteria in their RPT documents, the publishing of datasets may not be valued as highly as other forms of scholarship; however, they also note that scholars are actively working on “enhancing the profile of data-related endeavors in scholarship.”

For more information on locating and creating Open Access datasets, contact Milner Library’s Data Services Librarian Chad Kahl at cmkahl@IllinoisState.edu. In addition, anyone wishing to make their own materials (including datasets) more readily available can often place pre-prints or even published articles and materials on ISU ReD. We are happy to answer any questions you might have and discuss what options are available. If you wish to discuss this further, please contact Milner Library’s Scholarly Communication Team at isured@IllinoisState.edu.

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