Collection Development Policy for General Collection Research Data

University Libraries, Unt Policy And Procedure Memorandum.


This policy governs the acquisition of research data resources intended for inclusion in the general collection at the University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries, provided by non-UNT affiliates, including, but not limited to data sets and statistical resources. This policy does not govern data sets produced by UNT faculty or students in the conduct of research, or those included in the UNT Data Repository.

Mission Statements


Research data resources are an important part of the UNT Library collections and are essential to meet the dynamic needs of UNT’s educational and research communities by supporting the university curriculum, student learning and faculty research. However, many research data resources are designed for the needs of corporations and may not be equipped to support an academic institution’s needs. Thus, it is necessary to closely evaluate and monitor all research data resources to ensure they meet the needs of the institution.


  1. Research Data Resources: is defined as “the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings, but not the following: preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews or communications with colleagues. This “recorded” material excludes physical objects” (Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR §215.36 (d)(2)(i))).
  2. Subject Librarian: a Libraries employee who has the responsibility for working in a partnership with one or more academic departments, schools, or colleges to develop the Libraries’ collections.
  3. Primary Clientele: students, faculty and staff of the University of North Texas are the primary clientele of the general collection. For the primary clientele of the UNT Libraries’ special collections, consult the individual policies of the special collections (see XIII. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS).
  4. General collection: the collection that contains the majority of the materials in the areas of the humanities, social sciences, science, and technology.
  5. Non-UNT affiliates: persons not employed at or enrolled at UNT, and entities not part of or affiliated with UNT. This includes, but is not limited to, researchers at other organizations and commercial vendors.

Selection Guidelines

There should be broad curricular and research interest in the research data resources to be acquired. Preference will be given to research data resources that demonstrate relevance and usefulness to an identified curricular area(s) of the university. The UNT Libraries endeavors to build a research data collection useful to the largest number of individuals and groups across the institution.

The following selection guidelines will help determine what research data resources are appropriate for the UNT Libraries to acquire:


  • Numeric, spatial and textual data will all be considered.
  • Open data and/or data that are openly available to the public will be given preference.
  • Any time-period and geographical extent will be considered.
  • Research data including confidential information or personally identifiable information will not be collected by the UNT Libraries.
  • Research data resources which do not require frequent or costly updates are preferred.


  • Research data resources are from a credible and reliable source with author, publisher, researcher or related metadata easily and clearly identifiable.

Format & Access

  • Research data resources must be accessible to all students, faculty and staff (Primary Clientele) through IP Authentication and EZProxy without restrictions on the number of simultaneous users.
  • Research data resources must comply and be compatible with UNT Library Technology & Computing policies and infrastructure.
  • Research data resources must be stored online and have the ability to be remotely accessed.
  • Research data resources that provide increased discoverability, increase the ease of use or aggregate data in a meaningful way will be considered. Research data resources that provide access to otherwise freely available data will be considered if there is demonstrable added-value.
  • Preference is given to software-independent (“standard”) formats. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • CSV
    • TSV
    • DAT
    • PDF
    • ASCII
  • Research data resources requiring local hosting will not be acquired by UNT Libraries.


  • Research data resources must be accompanied by descriptive metadata and adequate documentation explaining the data content.

Responsibility for Selection

  • The Collection Development department has primary responsibility for research data resource selection in consultation with the relevant Subject Librarian(s).
  • All research data resources are considered on a case-by-case basis and exceptions may be made.

Sources Consulted

Code of Federal Regulations. (2012). 2 CFR §215.36 (d)(2)(i). Accessed November 2018.

University of Virginia Library. (2018). Data Collection Development Policy. Accessed November 2018.


  • Approved: 02/19

License Information

This Policy: "Collection Development Policy for General Collection Research Data" by UNT Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.