Policies for Data

General Statement
Data Collection Policy (Data we collect)
End-User Access Policy (How people can use your material)
Deposit License (What you must agree to in order to deposit data)
Language for Use in the Grant-Writing Process
Registering your Data In Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech

General Statement

Research data housed within Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech is subject to the following data-specific policies.

Note: Policies and Terms are subject to change.

Data Collection Policy (Data we collect)

Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech is managed by the Van Pelt and Opie Library as a service to the university and accepts digital research data, digital research artifacts, and digital research materials (henceforth referred to as “data”) that meet the following collection criteria:

  • Data must be authored by at least one Michigan Technological University researcher at the time of creation.
  • Data must be unrestricted data, meaning data without private, confidential, or other legally protected information (e.g., personally identifiable information).
  • Data must be deposited for open access -- this means that visitors to the Data Repository site may download and reuse your data. Data that is not suitable for reuse should not be shared in the Data Repository. Authors will have the option of restricting access for a maximum of two years (see End-user Access Policy).
  • Digital Commons provides unlimited storage, though file uploads are limited to 20 GB each. Please contact us at to discuss larger data sets.
  • Data must include a readme file describing the nature of the data at an appropriate level for purposes of reuse and discovery. All data depositors must complete a readme file as part of acceptance into the repository. A template to guide the creation of a readme file is available at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UcBvzp1fdmUA08tcdXVVu9LBVR_elKxBPitY359d9e0
  • The data should be in a final, reusable state. We suggest cleaning your data, including deduplication, correction, and normalization.
  • It is the responsibility of those depositing data to make sure that they have the necessary rights or permissions to share any materials they did not generate.

Please contact the Van Pelt and Opie Library at if you have questions or specific inquiries.

End-User Access Policy (How people can use your material)

Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech is an open access repository and makes collection holdings available at no-cost to the end user, worldwide. End-users may download and use posted materials in any manner not prohibited by copyright or other applicable law and subject to the Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech Content Policy. Although Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech does not grant end-users any rights in the posted material, some authors may choose to apply a Creative Commons license to their data, which will give end-users certainty that they do not need permission for any uses allowed by the license.

Deposit License (What you must agree to in order to deposit data)

Before submitting, please read all relevant policies and/or submission guidelines.

The submission process consists of the following steps:

  • Ensure that you have a readme file accompanying your data. These instructions and template may be used as a guide: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UcBvzp1fdmUA08tcdXVVu9LBVR_elKxBPitY359d9e0
  • Email to schedule a consultation with a librarian. This consultation will ensure that all appropriate information (metadata) is deposited with your data:
    • Title
    • Data creators and affiliations
    • Description/commentary/abstract (up to 250 words)
    • The completed README.txt
    • Optional - a list of keywords (10 maximum)
    • The electronic format of your file(s), or hyperlink to your file(s) (recommended maximum size of 1 GB)
    • Any other information required by your funder or publisher
  • Select the appropriate license
    • We suggest either using a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) or a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0) license for the broadest re-use of your data. Using a CC-BY 4.0 license is recommended to ensure that appropriate credit is given to content creators by those reusing it.
    • You can learn more about licensing data here: https://opendefinition.org/licenses
    • If you have more questions about licensing your data, please contact the Van Pelt and Opie Library at
  • Read the following Deposit Agreement:

    By submitting data for deposit in Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech, you acknowledge and agree to the following:

    1. Ownership. Michigan Tech acquires and retains title to all Research Data.
    2. Original Work. The Research Data is the original work of the PI and associated Investigators or the Research Data does not contain material from other works unless such other works are used with the written consent of the applicable copyright owner.
    3. Attribution. The PI has appropriately acknowledged and will continue to acknowledge other Investigators or researchers whose work contributed to the Research Data.
    4. Third-Party Rights. The Research Data does not violate or infringe any personal or property rights of others and does not contain anything libelous or contrary to law.
    5. Transferred Rights. The PI has not transferred, licensed, or otherwise granted any rights of any kind in the Research Data to any other party.
    6. Restrictions. Depositing the Research Data into the Repository does not violate an existing publication agreement, Institutional Review Board recommendations, or any contract governing the Research Data.
    7. Sponsorship Obligations. The PI has fulfilled any right of review, confidentiality, or other obligations required by the Sponsor Contract.
    8. Accuracy. The PI has made a reasonable effort to ensure that the Research Data is accurate.
    9. Compliance with Federal Law. The PI has prepared the Research Data for publication through the Repository by removing confidential or sensitive information, including:
      1. “Health Information” or “Protected Health Information” as defined and protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), 45 CFR Part 160 and Part 164, Subparts A, C, & E;
      2. “Personal Information” as defined and protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) 34 CFR Part 99 and the associated Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA); and
      3. Information that is restricted under the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR 730-774) or the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (22 CFR 120-130).

Language for Use in the Grant-Writing Process

The following language may be used when completing grant applications that require dissemination and sharing of data. Please note that Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech only accepts data that is openly available. For additional assistance, please contact the Van Pelt and Opie Library at

The data will be deposited into the Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech, https://digitalcommons.mtu.edu, where it will be publicly accessible. Michigan Technological University’s hosted institutional repository is an open access platform for the dissemination and long-term sharing of university research products. In addition, Digital Commons @ Michigan provides long-term storage for data files and maintains persistent URLs for data sets, facilitating data citations. In accordance with Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech repository policies, the (deidentified, if applicable) data will be accompanied by the appropriate documentation, metadata, and code to facilitate reuse and provide the potential for interoperability with similar data sets.

Registering your Data In Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech

There may be situations where you do not want to deposit your data in Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech. For example, if your data is to be archived in discipline-specific or other public data repositories. If this is the case, you can register your data in Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech, essentially creating a record of your dataset in the repository. Registering your data in this manner helps to increase the discoverability and reuse of your data by other researchers. To register your data, you will provide information (metadata) describing the data, along with the location of the data. Please contact the Van Pelt and Opie Library if you have questions, or would like more information about data registration.


Policies used in the creation of this document:
Policies for Data and Datasets, Scholarworks @ UMassAmherst
DRUM Policies and Terms of Use, Data Repository for U of M
Registering Data, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Data Repository

Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech Policy for Data © by A. Doll and N. Allred is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.