A Prototype for the Institutional Research Data Index

Most out-of-the-box institutional repository systems don’t provide the workflows and metadata features required for research data. Consequently, many libraries now support two institutional repository systems—one for publications, and one for research data—even when there are nearly a thousand data repositories in the United States, many of which provide services and policies that ensure their trustworthiness and suitability for institutional research data. Libraries are either increasing spending by purchasing data repository solutions from vendors, or replicating work by building, customizing, and managing individual instances of data repository software. This presentation suggests a potential solution to this issue: a prototype for an open source Institutional Research Data Index (IRDI) that promotes discovery and reuse of institutional datasets through automatic metadata harvesting and search engine optimization. IRDI could lead to a single, unified index for academic institutional research data. A unified data index would lead to three key impacts: increasing discovery, reuse, and citation of open research data; reinforcing the idea that research data is a legitimate scholarly product; and promoting community-wide systems that require less resource expenditure.