Deep Blue Data celebrates 1,000 individually-curated datasets during Love Data Week 2024

Love Data Week, observed the week of Valentine’s Day and now hosted by the University of Michigan’s Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, has grown into a yearly international celebration intended to raise the visibility of the care and labor that goes into usefully-shared data. It was launched the same year as Deep Blue Data. This year’s theme, “My kind of data,” highlights the fact that data is personal, and encourages us to think about the real-world impacts of the way data shapes our world, the implications for equity and inclusion, and the unique needs of disciplinary communities.

For 2024’s International Love Data Week, Deep Blue Data is proud to announce it has hit the milestone of 1,000 individually-curated and published datasets! These originate from many different research teams and most disciplines across the University. The people behind the Deep Blue Data (and Documents) repositories work with each depositor to provide individualized curation services and recommendations before publication. Since the data repository's launch in 2016, the Deep Blue team has partnered with researchers across campus to ready their data for reuse by others. As detailed in the 2022 Deep Blue Impact report, 98% of respondents would recommend Deep Blue Data services to their colleagues. Beyond that, as one member of the research community explained, "Deep Blue has been a transformative experience for me as a scholar.”

One collaboration that we think embraces the idea that data is personal is the recent publication of the two-volume set of works on Archaeology released last fall. As detailed in a previous blog post from October 2023, Deep Blue data curators, in coordination with the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology (UMMAA) and the University of Michigan Press, worked with Dr. Michael Galaty to organize and integrate the large amount of data collected as part of the Projekti Arkeologjik i Shkodrës (PASH) dig in northern Albania (co-directed by his partner Lorenc Bejko, from the University of Tirana). Among the contributions this dig has made to scholarship are a better understanding of inequalities and shifting social hierarchies in the region from the Neolithic through the Bronze and Iron Ages. In addition to the volumes’ presentation online and integration with the underlying datasets, the data is freely available in perpetuity, with the online publications free until March 2024 to facilitate access by collaborators in Albania. Read more about this project from the U-M Press, here, or in an article by Laura Bossio for the UMMAA fall 2023 newsletter. As quoted there, Dr. Galaty speaks to the personalized nature of such an intensive collaboration: “I think we are fast approaching technologically a time where there won’t be much excuse not to figure out how to do this for archaeologists [...] But it is still difficult, and still takes a lot of time.” Deep Blue Data is delighted to have worked with UMMAA and the U-M Press to create a project that may “Provide [...] a template for linking [...] publications to accessible project data”. Who knows what exciting collaborations the next 1,000 datasets may contain!

Data publishing and management services are only growing in importance, as federal and other funding agencies, publishers and institution continue to update their policies and guidelines to encourage effective data sharing. The University of Michigan’s Research Data Stewardship Initiative (which originated a new institution-wide Research Data Stewardship Policy that came into effect Jan. 1) is working to bring together different areas of the U-M community to build a more centralized resource and discussion space around the topic of research data at U-M. Since 2016 Deep Blue Data has seen its number of deposits steadily increase, especially over the past few years–in 2023, we published a record-breaking 368 datasets (thanks in part to the culmination of several large, multi-piece projects). Our team is small (currently we are three full-time curators), but mighty!

Keep an eye on this blog for more depositor interviews to come; if you have published a dataset with Deep Blue Data and would like your work to be featured on the U-M Library blog, please reach out to researchdataservices (at); we are always excited to help boost the visibility of this work, which we know takes lots of time and labor to make accessible.