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Data Management

This guide will assist you through the process for developing a data management plan, as well as helping you to identify and address research funders' requirements.

Data Storage in Repositories

It is important to develop a strategy for long term preservation to insure future access to data for reuse.  Perhaps the best method of doing so is to store data in an electronic archive, otherwise referred to as a repository. To increase visibility, consider storing your data in more than one repository.

For Minnesota State University, Mankato faculty, Library Services in conjunction with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RASP) offers the following service for archiving technical reports, data, and datasets into Cornerstone, the University’s Institutional Repository, which currently utilizes bepress™ Digital Commons platform. 

Cornerstone can provide both a dissemination vehicle for materials and a centralized, permanent storage location to document the research of the University.  In addition, by submitting works to Cornerstone, faculty will be able to take advantage of Cornerstone’s metric abilities to provide documentation of use and global dissemination through download counts and readership maps.  These metrics can be then used by faculty for tenure and promotion materials and by the University as a means of ongoing documentation of research.  

  1. Submission and Copyright
    1. Owners of intellectual property should submit works to Cornerstone.  Per MinnState policy 3.26, ownership rights are determined by the type of work. 
    2. Archiving of a technical report or data/dataset does not require transfer of ownership of intellectual property to Library Services or RASP Office.  Ownership rights remain with the owner as determined by MinnState policy 3.26
    3. If ownership is jointly held, all parties should agree to archiving content within Cornerstone. 
    4. If ownership is determined by terms of an agreement or transferred to another party through agreement, submitters should follow those agreements first and then speak to the Digital Initiatives Librarian about deposit into Cornerstone. 
    5. Per MinnState policy 3.27, Copyright is retained by the owners, unless transferred due to an existing agreement.   

    1. If Copyright is held by a third party outside of the MinnState system, such as with a commercial publisher, and restrictions are placed on dissemination of full text of a report or data, those restrictions will supersede any deposit into Cornerstone.  If copies can be placed into Cornerstone at a later point, an embargo (see section 7 below) can be utilized.
  1. File Types
    1. Research reports or technical reports in Word/PDF formatting.  Documents not submitted as PDF files will be converted before being added to Cornerstone. 
    2. Data (.csv preferred but any version is acceptable if it is described in detail on the metadata forms (see step 3). 
    3. For other types of files, contact the Digital Initiatives Librarian with questions or concerns. 
    4. File size limits: there are currently no size limits on any report, data, or dataset. 
  2. Metadata
    1. Descriptive, technical, and administrative information will be included with all submitted reports, data and datasets. 
    2. Forms to collect appropriate metadata are available here
    3. All metadata will be preserved along with the files (see section 5 below).
  3. Retention of Works
    1. Cornerstone is a permanent archive.  Before adding works, submitters should ensure that the works are complete and factually accurate and that they have the right to make them publicly available.  If the status of a work is uncertain, it should not be submitted. 
    2. Works submitted to Cornerstone will remain unless removal is required by law, by written request of the copyright holder for a specific reason, or due to a violation of University or MinnState policies.  
  4. Preservation
    1. Library Services will oversee and manage Cornerstone and its successive systems to preserve both the metadata and all submissions. 
    2. Submitters will grant Library Services the non-exclusive right to migrate their work to various formats as needed in perpetuity for preservation and usability. 
    3. Library Services will retain three copies of all reports, data, and datasets, along with all associated metadata. 
      1. One copy will be placed into Cornerstone, which is in turn backed up by the parent company bepress™.  Information on bepress™ preservation infrastructure can be found here
      2. One copy will be stored on MavDisk (or successive technology), the University’s local secure file storage option, or on University designated external hard drives. 
      3. The final copy will be placed in the University Archives’ Microsoft Azure cloud storage account for permanent storage and archiving. 
    4. Procedures for the long-term preservation, including fixity and checksums, of all digital objects in Cornerstone will be guided by the University Archives’ Digital Preservation Plan. 
  5. Ethical considerations
    1. All works submitted must be clear of copyright violations and plagiarism, must not violate any laws of the United States (such as U.S. Copyright Law), laws of the State of Minnesota (including Minnesota State Statute Chapter 13. Government Data Practices), International laws, University or MinnState policies (such as policies defined in the Minnesota State University, Mankato Institutional Review Board (IRB) or MinnState System Procedure 1C.0.1 Employee Code of Conduct), breach proprietary contracts, invade a person’s privacy, or include materials used solely for commercial or monetary gain.
    2. Library Services will not review submissions for violations nor will Library Services take responsibility to ensure that proper protocols (such as IRB or IACUC) were followed.  It is the responsibility of the submitter to ensure that all proper protocols and laws are followed.
    3. If a work is found to breach any protocols and laws, Library Services will work with the University’s Associate Vice President of Research, any additional appropriate university or MinnState employees, and the submitter to resolve any issues. 
  6. Access and Openness of Works
    1. Cornerstone is a permanent, open access repository and makes works freely available to a global audience.  Library Services manages access to all works in Cornerstone and will work with the company (bepress™) to ensure continued access. 
    2. Submitters may select one of six Creative Commons Licenses to inform users of their wishes regarding use of the works submitted. 
    3. Copyright of the materials remains with the copyright owners and a Rights Statement will be added to each work added to Cornerstone. 
    4. If agreement with sponsors or publishers require an embargo of a report, data, or dataset for a limited time, submitters can select any length of embargo for a work in Cornerstone.  This embargo, however, is not intended to be permanent and will be lifted after a period of 5 years unless otherwise negotiated between the submitter and Library Services. 
    5. Submitters should provide a current email address to include along with the work if users have questions.  Library Services will not troubleshoot software needed to review and work with any data.
  7. Management of Cost
    1. Costs for the management and maintenance of Cornerstone and the Microsoft Azure cloud storage will be paid by Library Services. 
    2. Costs for research, publication fees or other fees associated with the work will be paid by the submitter and/or their department/sponsor, etc. 
  8. Procedure for Submitting Technical Reports, Data or Datasets to Cornerstone
    1. Submitters should contact the Digital Initiatives Librarian at to arrange for deposit.
    2. Submitters should complete one of the appropriate forms found here and include the form with the submission to  
    3. Files too large to be emailed to Cornerstone should be shared via the MinnState System’s Secure File Sharing System called MOVEit Transfer or via the University’s Office 365/One Drive accounts.  Due to security concerns, Google Drive or Dropbox should not be used to transfer files. 
    4. The Digital Initiatives Librarian will assign a standardized number to each work.  The pattern for these numbers will be as follows: MSU-year-0001-TR (Technical Report), MSU-year-0001-R (Report), MSU-year-0001-D (Data), MSU-year-0001-DS (Dataset).  All numbers will be recorded on a log that is shared between the Library Services and the RASP Office. 
    5. Submissions will be added to Cornerstone within a reasonable amount of time depending on scheduling.
    6. Submissions to Cornerstone will receive a PURL and the Digital Initiatives Librarian will include this in an email to the submitter(s) when the items are available in Cornerstone.  
    7. Any corrections to metadata should be sent to the Digital Initiatives Librarian


Document Date: 2021-02-12

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