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Open Data Services

In collaboration with the Libraries' GIS and Data Services team, Open Scholarship Services (OSS) supports the research data lifecycle through education, resources, and infrastructure that promote open sharing and publication of data.

What is Open Data?

Open data is data made available to the public free of financial and technical access barriers. Like open access publications, open data can be published using a variety of platforms, repositories, and methods and there are a variety of ways that you can retain copyright ownership, control reuse, and track citations of your data. 

In order for data to be discoverable, useful, and available long term, good open data should follow certain principles. 

  • Data should be presented in a standard, structured format 
  • Descriptive metadata and documentation should accompany datasets to help others find and use it
  • Data should be linked, traceable, and available long term, providing transparency about the source of the information and reliability for citation and future use

The Libraries offer guidance on how to develop open datasets according to these and other community-endorsed principles. You can take a look at our guide on developing FAIR Data or book a consultation with GIS and Data Services for more tailored advice. Some open data repositories also provide advisory and data curation services in advance of or at the time you are ready to publish your dataset. 

Benefits of Open Data

  • Sharing your data alongside or in addition to digital projects or written scholarly outputs offers you an additional publishing opportunity and may provide greater research impacts through the citation of your data.
  • Open data publishing may help you to find and attract collaborators who are conducting research on similar topics, or to combine and increase useful datasets to the benefit of the community at large. 
  • Sharing data can benefit researchers who lack funding or resources to access expensive datasets or conduct their own research. 
  • Sharing data in addition to published results increases transparency and reproducibility in research.

Data Management Planning

Make a plan to collect, organize, archive, and publish your data. Many funding organizations and journals now require data management plans in applications.

UMD Libraries guide to Data Management Plans

Data as Scholarly Communication

Make your data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) to ensure the quality and machine readability of the datasets you create. Your open data is only as valuable as it is discoverable and usable by others!

Explore publishing your data as a research output

Make your Data Open

Publish or share your data in a trusted data repository. Choose the right venue to share your data to make it discoverable, citable, and provide long term preservation.

Help me make my data open
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