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Data Curation Request Instructions

These instructions are for individuals who would like their dataset to undergo curation before submitting it in ScholarlyCommons. Data curation is the process where we review your dataset and documentation for ways to enhance the findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability. We highly recommend taking advantage of this service as studies have found that data curation adds value to the data sharing process and increases researcher’s confidence in sharing their data (Marsolek, 2023).

We are able to curate data that is already available on the repository, but that process will be slightly different than the instructions on this page. Please email us at to request curation of existing ScholarlyCommons data.

Our policies and instructions are available on the ScholarlyCommons Guide, but below are highlighted ones especially relevant to datasets:

  • We have a limited file submission size of 5GB per file, and only ten files may be uploaded per submission. This limits the total submission size to be at most 50GB.
  • All submissions must be free of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) as our repository is completely open access (meaning anyone can download anything).
  • We automatically assign a Handle (a persistent and unique identifier) to all submissions, but if you would like a DOI (a specific type of Handle), you can indicate this in the Data Curation Request Form to request one after your submission has been accepted. We only assign DOI’s to items already in the repository.  
    • We have a separate DOI request process if you would like to receive a DOI for an item that is not going through the data curation process.  
  • We have a basic list of preferred file formats for submission as they are more preservation friendly. While this list is not comprehensive, overall we prefer files that are not proprietary, so you don’t need a specific software to open and use them.
  • Our timeline for feedback is one week, but for complex cases it may take longer.


  1. Read the preliminary information on the Data Curation Request Form and ensure that you understand the process. 
  2. Fill out the form fields. All fields are required. 
  3. You have two methods for sharing your data and documentation with our team for curation. Make sure that you provide us with all the materials you will be sharing. 
    1. Method 1 is where you provide our team access with a shared access link to the data and documentation that you want curated. This option requires that you have the data in a cloud storage system (Box, Google, etc.) that allows you to give permissions to certain users for access. You would need to give access to Lauren Phegley ( and Lynda Kellam ( We will download the data to our own system and curate it from there, so you do not have to worry about edits to your version of the dataset.  
    2. Method 2 is that you attach data and documentation to the Data Curation Request Form. This will only work as long as the data is under the 100MB size limit. Anything larger needs to be shared using Method 1.
  4. Once we have received the form, we will reach out to confirm that we received your submission, that we can access the files with no immediate issues, and our turnaround timeframe.
  5. Our team begins the data curation process, and will contact you if there are questions to clarify before we provide our final feedback.
  6. When curation is finished, we will send our recommendations for methods to enhance the findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability.
  7. You can then implement the recommendations for your data. The level of suggested updates that you choose to make is up to you. If you have questions about a certain recommendation or how to implement it, let us know! We are happy to schedule a consultation.
  8. You can then log in to ScholarlyCommons to submit your curated dataset to the repository. The rest of the submission process will follow the How To Submit Guide.
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