Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date

Spring 4-23-2015

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Research Data Access and Preservation Summit

Conference Location

Minneapolis, Minnesota


In response to the requirement for data management plans from federal funding agencies, the University of Iowa Libraries is beginning to develop a suite of data management services. First, the Libraries produced two comprehensive reports on campus data management needs. Then, the Libraries formed a data working group of four librarians across disciplines to create a guide on data management resources. To explore good practices in data management services and establish a long-term partnership with faculty and researchers, two librarians from the group started a pilot case study for organizing and publishing research data.

In this case study, we worked with a professor and her graduate students in the field of chemical and biochemical engineering to help organize and document their research data and deposit published data into our institutional repository (Iowa Research Online or IRO). In-depth interviews were conducted to understand their data management needs. In consideration of their specific data generation, collection, and analysis, a folder organization scheme was developed and applied to the professor’s data storage. As a result, the organized data is not only more accessible to the professor, her students, and collaborators but also makes sense to newcomers to the laboratory. In phase two, we guided the researchers through the process of depositing their manuscripts, associated data, and documentation into the IRO for public access and preservation. In the future, we plan to validate our organization scheme by sharing it with other faculty in the same field and expanding it to other fields. In our libraries, this case study can be used to as a best practice example to better support faculty and researchers throughout the research data life cycle.


data management, academic libraries, folder structure, file naming, data documentation


Copyright © 2015, Qianjin Zhang and Sara Scheib.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.