Libraries and Collections
Managing the Collections

UCLA Library Principles of Data Acquisition

At the request of faculty, students, and staff, the UCLA Library will consider the acquisition of data sets on a case-by-case basis. In order for the Library to pursue the acquisition, the data must meet the following criteria:

  • The data are of broad educational interest and meet an existing demand for use in research, teaching, and instruction at UCLA.
  • The data are open source, licensed, or purchased.
  • The access terms allow the data to be made available to the entire UCLA research community, including walk-in users.
  • The data can be organized, described, and easily accessed via the UCLA Library Catalog and other library-based discovery tools.
  • Data formats should be standard and appropriate for preservation (i.e., TIFF for images, WAV for audio, MOV for moving images, XML for structured data, PDF-A). Any data in compressed formats must be easily decoded with software that is present on the Library network (e.g., Microsoft Excel). The format must be supported by the Library’s computing environment, and the data need to be accessible online.
  • The data must be in a public-use version, containing no personal identifiers.
  • Costs must be reasonable and adequately reflect the value of the resource.

In addition, the data should also meet the following criteria:

  • The data are current and do not require the purchase of frequent updates.
  • The data must be accompanied by adequate documentation.

Further Considerations

Hosting: Data can be stored locally in standard formats, remotely, by third parties, or other campus partners. If data exist freely at another site, access will be provided via a link placed in the Catalog and other discovery tools as appropriate. The Library will not harvest this data and host it locally.

Licensing: If data can be acquired with no apparent restrictions or terms, the Library will proceed with acquisition after the licensing coordinator has verified this with the provider of the data. If the data requires an agreement, the Library will only acquire it if terms reflect user needs and are in accordance with the Library’s standard agreements. By advocating for reasonable license agreements and pricing models, the Library hopes to influence and change the market to recognize the educational mission of publicly funded institutions.