CDR Data Deposit Policy 

What Is Data?

The term “data” for the purposes of deposit in the Carolina Digital Repository (CDR) is defined as:  those materials that form the basis of one’s research, whether quantitative (numeric or spatial) or qualitative (images, text, video or audio recordings, digital models, code, or other non-numeric materials). They may be structured or unstructured. They are the materials analyzed to form researchers’ conclusions and may have been born digital or converted to digital formats. Researchers may have gathered these materials by measurement, obtained them as “secondary” data from other repositories, compiled them from contributors or participants, etc.

Who Can Deposit Data in the CDR?

Datasets may be deposited by UNC-CH faculty, researchers, staff, or students with an Onyen. Depositors must be currently employed or enrolled at UNC-CH and the dataset must be related to their research.  Faculty depositors may designate proxy users to deposit datasets on their behalf.

Deposits of data from multi-institutional collaborations are allowed, provided that at least one collaborator is currently employed by UNC-CH and the dataset has not been deposited elsewhere in the same form.

What Is Required to Deposit?

  • The CDR accepts data in any format. However, we strongly encourage data deposits to be in open, non-proprietary formats for maximum reusability.
  • Data must not include any personally identifiable, encrypted, or sensitive information as defined by UNC. More information about personally identifiable and sensitive information at UNC.
  • It is the depositor’s obligation to ensure they have the right to deposit the data in the CDR. Contact the Library’s Scholarly Communications Officer for assistance.
  • Data must be in its final form. The CDR does not provide a space for collaborators to actively edit datasets. However, new versions of datasets may be uploaded.
  • Data must not be archived elsewhere in the same form. If data are archived elsewhere, the depositor must submit a short statement explaining why deposit in the same repository as the original dataset is not possible.  Data which has been substantially modified and are of use to other researchers may be deposited.
  • Depositors must agree to the CDR’s Non-Exclusive Deposit Agreement.
  • Depositors must provide contact information for a responsible party.  The CDR prefers that a UNC contact be responsible for the purposes of record review.  The depositor is responsible for notifying the CDR if contact information changes.
  • Depositors must include a ReadMe file describing the nature of the data which can deposited as a supplemental file. A ReadMe file template is available.

The CDR system limits self-deposits to 500 MB per deposit. Each faculty, researcher, staff member, department, institute, and center receive 2TB total storage in the CDR, which can be used to store datasets. Students receive 20 GB of storage.  There is no cost to store content in the CDR.
If the dataset is larger than 500 MB, the user may contact the CDR staff to discuss options.  If the user’s total storage space requirements exceed 2TB, the user may contact the CDR staff to discuss options.

How Can Data Deposited in the CDR be Used by Others?

Data deposited in the CDR can be used with proper attribution given to the author of the data.  Depositors may select either CC0CC-BY or no license.
Depositors can choose one of the following access levels for their dataset:

  • Publicly available: The dataset will be available to anyone on the web
  • UNC at Chapel Hill affiliates only:  The dataset will be available only to users with an Onyen.
  • Embargo: Information about the dataset can be viewed by anyone on the web. The dataset is restricted for a specified period of time, then becomes public.
  • Metadata only: Information about the dataset can be viewed by anyone on the web, but not the dataset.

The CDR strongly recommends that all data submissions be in open formats and made publicly available. Users may also grant access to external researchers via a single-use link. For more information about these settings, see the Access Restrictions section of the CDR Policies & Guidelines.

How long are datasets retained?

All datasets are retained for a minimum of 10 years and will then be reviewed by the CDR staff.  The CDR retains the right to refuse data submissions if circumstances warrant.
The CDR will review data after 10 years to determine if:

  1. The dataset is required to be retained by a grant or other policy as indicated at time of submission
  2. The dataset has been used
  3. The dataset is in an accessible format

The dataset may be retained indefinitely at the discretion of the CDR and/or as required by a grant.
If the dataset is flagged for deletion, a “tombstone” record will be created. This record will display the description of the dataset with a note indicating its removal and the reason for removal. This will ensure that links to the dataset will still function and that proper context is provided for a viewer of the deleted dataset. The CDR will make a reasonable effort to consult the depositor if the dataset has been selected for removal.

What Will the CDR do with Deposited Data?

Each data submission will be reviewed by CDR staff after deposit. The CDR staff will make recommendations to the depositor regarding file formats and data description completeness. These recommendations are non-binding. The CDR will not modify data and all data submissions are the responsibility of the depositor. The CDR will preserve the files as they were originally submitted. All datasets in the CDR will be assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to aid in discoverability and are subject to preservation polices as outlined in the CDR Preservation Policy.  New versions of a dataset will be assigned a DOI.  The CDR will review and remove the dataset as part of the retention review schedule and procedure outlined above.

Can Depositors Change or Remove Their Data from the CDR?

Depositors can edit descriptions associated with the dataset and upload a new version of the dataset.
Requests to remove data from the CDR should be submitted via the contact form.  The depositor should explain the reason for removal.  The request will be reviewed by library staff. If the dataset is removed, a “tombstone” record will be created.

Can Depositors Include the CDR on their Data Management Plan for a Grant Proposal?

If the grant requirements and archive specifications can be met by the CDR policies, data limits, and technical infrastructure, then faculty may list the CDR on their DMP. However, depositors should consult with CDR staff before including the CDR on a data management plan to ensure that the CDR meets the grant’s requirements.

Last updated: 6/24/2021 by Rebekah Kati