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Digital Commons Data @ USF

Describing Your Data

Metadata is a standardized way of organizing, describing, and providing context to data, including the who, what, where, and when of data creation and methods of use. Metadata allows for discovery, citation, and reuse.

What metadata are required for deposit?
  • Title
  • Creator
  • Description
  • License
  • Institution (University of South Florida is automatically added)
  • Data categories (subject areas using controlled vocabulary)
Additional Recommended Metadata
  • Any other contributors 
  • Any other institutions
  • Additional description information including: geographic location, dates of collection, formats, grant number
  • Related links including pertinent publications
  • Funder or funding agency
Guides to readme file and codebooks

Preparing Your Data

Complete/preservable using FAIR data practices

  • FAIR Data Principles function as a set of guidelines for scientific data management and stewardship. The FAIR acronym can assist researchers and data publishers render their digital research artifacts Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. This 
    • Findable:  Data and supplementary materials should include detailed and descriptive metadata as well as a unique and persistent identifier such as a DOI (digital object identifier). This will help to ensure proper indexing in searchable databases.
    • Accessible: Data and metadata should be understandable and retrievable by humans and machines. 
    • Interoperable: Data and metadata should use a formal, accessible, and broadly applicable language for knowledge representation. This will allow data integration with other data as well as pertinent applications or workflow for analysis, storage, and processing.
    • Reusable: Data and metadata should have a clear usage license and provide accurate information on provenance. 

Acceptable file formats

  • Research data is: "the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings, but not any of the following: preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, or communications with colleagues." (OMB Circular 110)
  • Acceptable file types include:
    • Machine-readable word processing text (e.g., PDF, Open Office, etc.)
    • Structured and Tabular data files (e.g., csv, .sql, .gml, etc.)
    • Audio-visual data files (e.g., tiff, jpg, mp3, mo4, etc.)
    • 3D data files (e.g., x3d, stl, u3d, et.c)

Storage size limits

  • Each dataset file can be a maximum 100GB. However, a project can include multiple datasets.

If you have questions about the acceptable file formats or have data that exceeds 100GB, please contact us to discuss your options for uploading your data.