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Your Data and DigitalGeorgetown

When your research is complete, where will your data live?

There are many possible answers to this important question, and one solution available to Georgetown researchers is the DigitalGeorgetown institutional repository (IR). Suzanne Chase, head of the Library’s Digital Services Unit, and her team consult with faculty, students, institutes, centers, journals, and organizations to determine how the IR can expand the audience for their digital research output.

Suzanne Chase, Head of the Digital Services Unit

A Q&A with Suzanne about submitting datasets for long-term access follows.

How can DigitalGeorgetown help researchers share their data?

DigitalGeorgetown brings together the scholarly output of faculty, staff, and students across all Georgetown campuses. The IR includes working papers, journal articles, datasets, technology-enhanced learning materials, audio and video resources, citation and image databases, and much more. The majority of content within DigitalGeorgetown is open access, which means that anyone in the world can access it.  Many publishers, funding agencies, and grant-making institutions have adopted open access policies, which require researchers to make data and reports available to the general public. With thousands of visitors each month and a dedicated team at the Library offering support and development, DigitalGeorgetown is one of the easiest platforms for our community to use when releasing content as open access.

DigitalGeorgetown is heavily indexed by Google Scholar and other search engines, which increases the visibility and discoverability of our scholars’ work. The IR offers permanent URLs (called handles) for items hosted within the repository. This means that even if our repository’s underlying systems change, the URLs will continue to work. This is great for resumes or CVs.

Georgetown University Library is committed to the long-term preservation of materials submitted to DigitalGeorgetown. The Library’s digital preservation policy stipulates that all materials submitted to the IR are preserved, which helps ensure the continued and persistent access to data over time.

The Library’s Digital Services team does not assess the academic quality of materials deposited in the repository (we don't have the expertis for that), but we can help you decide if you think DigitalGeorgetown is the best place for your data and other scholarship through a consultation. Researchers are free to submit any content they think is appropriate, and which does not violate any laws or local policies. Bear in mind that the materials will be visible to a worldwide audience, so they should enhance your own reputation and that of your department and the University.

What kinds of data are available in DigitalGeorgetown?

DigitalGeorgetown serves all academic departments. It can accommodate any type of dataset from any discipline, whether it’s the sciences, social sciences, or the humanities. The IR is built upon the open source DSpace platform, which accepts any discrete file type. Currently, there are no restrictions on the file format of data and no strict size limits on the collection, as long as individual files do not exceed 100 GB. However, we do encourage the submission of common and easy-to-download file types, such as PDF, Excel, and .csv or .tsv files.

One interesting example of a dataset that is openly available in DigitalGeorgetown is a .csv file of Twitter data that demonstrates code-switching among populations that speak both Cebuano and English in the Central Philippines. It was submitted as part of a student’s Master’s Thesis in Linguistics, and is available at http://hdl.handle.net/10822/760907.

If I want to place my data in the DigitalGeorgetown IR, what steps do I need to take?

Any individual affiliated with Georgetown University can submit their scholarly work to the repository. If you are depositing content in DigitalGeorgetown for the first time, we recommend setting up a brief consultation with our Digital Services team, either in person or via a Zoom video conference, so we can discuss the options you have in terms of file formats, license agreements, and access levels. Email us at digitalscholarship@georgetown.edu to set up a consultation appointment.

If you have already submitted content to DigitalGeorgetown and are familiar with the process, you can self-submit your scholarship. Step-by-step instructions for this process can be found on our website at http://www.library.georgetown.edu/ir/submit.

What if I’m not ready to share my data?

If you have data that you would like to deposit in DigitalGeorgetown, but you are not yet ready to share it with the world, we offer a variety of embargoes. This is a great option for content that is not suitable to be released as open access, but needs long-term maintenance and preservation. Researchers can choose to lock down their scholarship with a common embargo, which limits access only to individuals with a Georgetown NetID and password, or they can completely block access to their content by choosing a restricted embargo. In that case, no one, not even the researcher, would be able to access the content. These embargoes are offered in six-month, one-year, or two-year time periods, with the option to extend an embargo indefinitely after the initial two-year period has expired.

Still have questions?

Visit DigitalGeorgetown’s Frequently Asked Questions page or contact digitalscholarship@georgetown.edu to learn more.