Researchers are increasingly being asked to publish their datasets. For some disciplines, there are well-known conventions and repositories for doing this. However, for the vast majority of researchers, it is difficult to determine best practices and/or trustworthy places to publish data.

To help these researchers, the California Digital Library built the data publication system, Dash, which is available for use by the entire UC research community. Now, we are pleased to announce a significant new release of the Dash service.

What’s great about Dash?

Our goal with the new release of Dash is to make data publication even easier for researchers. Our new release makes it:

  • Easier to Publish. Depositing data shouldn’t be hard. To make sure the process is user friendly, we focused heavily on user testing to design a new, simpler submission process. Plus, we included integration with several community efforts (Datacite, Crossref’s Open Funder Registry, ORCID) to ensure all datasets get the broadest reach possible.
  • Easier to Preserve. Not all data publication systems offer true preservation services. With Dash, researchers don’t need to worry about that. Dash’s integration with the CDL Merritt repository ensures that long-term stewardship of all datasets will be handled appropriately.
  • Easier to Cite. A major driver for data publication is to help get your data reused and cited. Dash assigns DOIs to all submitted datasets and registers them with Datacite so that they can be counted in citation analytics. Dash also prominently displays the recommended citation syntax at the top of each landing page so other researchers can easily cite your work.
  • Easier to Update. Research is an iterative process. Dash is built with versioning in mind. So, when things change, we made it easy for researchers to go back to previous submissions and add new versions of their datasets.
  • Easier to Discover. The goal is to be found. Because it’s built with best practices in mind, Dash integrates your research into the larger scholarly ecosystem. In addition, we take search engine optimization seriously. Each landing page conforms to best practices recommended by Google and schema.org to increase the discoverability of your datasets.

Take a look:  You can see the new release of Dash here: http://dash.cdlib.org. For more information, we created a PDF that describes some of the new integrations and features.

What’s next?

We will continue to develop additional features. We hope to support timed deposits and embargoes in the coming months. We are always looking to improve Dash. If you see something wrong or have any new ideas, email us at uc3@cdlib.org or visit https://github.com/cdluc3/dash/issues to leave a comment or report an error.

Why publish your data?

There are many different motivations for sharing research data. In some cases, it is because peers ask for citable landing pages to reference in their own research. In other cases, it is because funders or institutions require it to comply with open data and/or open access policies.

For some disciplines, there are well-known conventions for data publication. It is increasingly difficult for researchers to determine where to go and whether they are following best practices. To help with this challenge, the California Digital Library-developed Dash, a simple, easy-to-use data publication tool (http://dash.cdlib.org). We continue to iterate and improve Dash. Please send us your feedback or questions at uc3@ucop.edu.

Acknowledgements

Thank you to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for their support of the Dash project. Thank you, also, to the researchers and library staff across the 10 UC campuses and within the DataONE community for your input. Your feedback was essential to crafting this release and will be in guiding future development.

We currently support branded Dash instances for UC Merced, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, UC San Francisco and DataONE. If you are interested in having a Dash instance for your campus or group, let us know at uc3@ucop.edu.