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Data Sets Collection Policy

Data Collection Policy

This policy guides collection development for the acquisition of data sets at Tulane University Libraries.  Liaisons librarians may purchase data sets as one-time purchases using their book funds or though subscriptions using the same processes used for other serials. Some data sets may qualify as large-expense subscription or one-time purchases too. In addition, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library has also set aside $5,000 annually for a pilot Data Set Purchase Program to encourage the appropriate use of data in research. 

The Requirements and Data Hosting Guidelines included in the policy should also be used by liaison librarians as guidance for purchasing or recommending the purchase of commercial data sets from other library funds, as well as in considering datasets for the Purchase Program.

For now, data sets purchased should reside on third-party platforms.  An option for local hosting is being explored and data needing to be hosted locally will need to comply with Data Hosting Guidelines that will eventually be outlined here.

Generally, data sets selected for purchase by the library should have broad broad curricular and research interest.  The library focuses its acquisitions of data sets on selecting resources useful to multiple researchers.  Access to data purchased by the library cannot be restricted to individual schools, departments, or specific groups. 

Moreover, the library cannot acquire “single user” data sets for individuals. That is, the library cannot acquire data sets with restrictive license terms or technical requirements limiting use to one individual or group, to one specific project or purpose, or to a limited term or time period. 


Courtney Kearney

Scholarly Engagement Librarian - Physical Sciences and Data Management

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