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Data Submission and the Academic Commons: How to Submit

Who can submit

Undergraduates can submit data collected for their senior thesis or other research to an Academic Commons data collection.

What to Submit

Students will submit their data (Excel files and CSV files) and a readme file

The original Excel spreadsheet will be submitted.  Also, if data are on multiple tabs within a spreadsheet, each tab should be saved as separate CSV files.  Open the tab within Excel, then select Save As, and the CSV file type.  

A readme file describes your data files so that future researchers know enough about your research to incorporate them into their own work: how the data were collected, how to interpret the data, etc. To the right is a template for creating a readme file. 

How the process works

  • The student will deposit the data and readme file, and e-sign a distribution license (see right).
  • The submitted the files will go to a holding area for the designated subject librarian to review for corrections and additional details if necessary. 
  • Once the librarian has review the submission, that librarian will approve the submission and it will then be added to the Student Research Datasets collection in the Academic Commons. 
  • The librarian will also link the data files to corresponding theses.

A special note on the dataset collections, these are restricted only faculty members in the specific departments.

Example of Readme File

How to create a readme file

In the process of submitting data to to the Academic Commons, you will deposit a metadata description known as a readme file. Basically, this is a description of your data that resides with your data. 

Copy the following fields into a Word document and fill out the following fields.  From the File menu, select Save As Type Plain Text (.txt) with the name "Readme."

  • Title:
  • Creator:
  • Date:
  • Method:
  • Processing:
  • Source:
  • Funder:
  • Subject Keywords:
  • Place:
  • Variable List and Codes:
  • File structure:
  • Necessary software:
  • Rights:

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
John Repplinger

Other areas of expertise:
Academic Commons,
Citation Tools, Zotero,
Data Management Plans

Distribution License

As part of the submission process, you grant the University the right to preserve and provide access the material by future Willamette University students and faculty. At the University's discretion, to better serve the research community beyond Willamette your senior thesis may also be added to a public access collection within the WU institutional repository. To grant this right, you must own copyright to the work or have obtained the permission of the copyright owner. For more information, see the Academic Commons Intellectual Property Policy.

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