There are all types of online directories that can help you locate the perfect open-access resource, ranging from directories of open access journals to directories of open access repositories. Patent searchers may occasionally need to access entire research data sets as sources of prior art during an exhaustive validity search, and there are repositories where you can search for entire data sets on specific subjects, such as Data.gov. I recently came across an interesting tool created to aid users in locating these repositories of research data sets which incorporates the detailed bibliographic records about specific resources that is reminiscent of the open-access directory websites. Databib is a tool for locating online repositories of research data, and the site was originally sponsored by a Sparks! Innovation National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (with additional support from the Purdue University Libraries). Databib allows users to submit and curate detailed records that describe data repositories, and other users can then search or browse through these records to locate the needed data resource.
After the jump, learn about the search, browse, and viewing options for records about data repositories on Databib!
Search and Browsing Options
Under the “Find Repositories” link, accessible through the horizontal menu on the Databib homepage, users can either keyword search or browse the repository list. Search and browsing options include:
- A simple keyword search form accessible at the top of the list, above the “Browse” option.
- The Advanced Search, which allows users to search through up to three text boxes (linked by Boolean operators AND/OR/NOT). Users can select a field for each text box through an adjacent drop-down menu (all categories, title, description, authority, subject, or access).
- Browse repositories through an alphabetical list.
- Browse repositories organized under subject categories (Agriculture, “Area, Ethnic, and Gender,” “Biological Sciences,” etc.).
When utilizing one of the search forms, results include the repository title and a text excerpt with the search term bolded. Select the repository title (in either the search results or browsing list) to view the full repository record.
The full repository record includes the following fields:
- URL (a link directly to the repository website)
- Subjects (select a subject tag to view other related repositories)
- Description (a brief description of a paragraph or so describing the coverage of the data sets within the repository)
- Access (open/closed)
- Start date
- Reuse (open/closed)
- Deposit (open/closed)
- Type (i.e., institutional, disciplinary, governmental, etc.)
On the full repository record pages, users can select to edit the information within any field of the record. Users can also add annotations to the records.
Databib is very easy to search, browse, and edit, and the information provided on each data repository provides a valuable overview for users searching for specific types of data sets (by subject, open access vs. closed access, open deposit vs. closed deposit, etc.). Unfortunately, the size of the Databib directory is still quite small. Less than 250 directories are currently listed on Databib, although it appears that any user can submit a repository record to the directory (records are reviewed before being added to the directory). Like the Intellogist community reports, Databib is a cooperative tool that any researcher can contribute their knowledge to and improve the coverage and quality of the resource.
If you know of any useful data set repositories not currently listed on Databib, share them in the comments (and submit a record to Databib, too!).
This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.