About the Project
In today’s technologically advanced world, the data generated by researchers is increasingly born digital and subject to intensive transformation and analyses before publication. The various file formats, software, and hardware required to succeed in the modern research landscape can become daunting, especially since education about digital data management has not kept pace with these technological advancements. There is a significant gap between the data management skills needed by modern researchers and their current abilities; the gap is more noticeable given the current increase in funder requirements for data management plans and requests by journal publishers to make supporting data publicly available alongside traditional research articles.
The DataUp project was born out of this need for seamless integration of data management into the researchers’ current workflows. We recognized that the large majority of Earth, environmental, and ecological scientists use spreadsheets in the course of their data collection and organization; rather than requiring they learn a new program, we decided to meet them where they already work: Microsoft® Excel and related spreadsheet software.
The DataUp project’s goals were to facilitate data management, sharing, and archiving for scientists. To do this, we built two versions of DataUp: an open-source add-in (extension) for Microsoft® Excel and an open-source web application.
Both the add-in and the web application provide users with the ability to
- Perform a "best practices check" to ensure data are well formatted and organized
- Create standardized metadata, or a description of the data, using a wizard-style template
- Retrieve a unique identifier for their dataset from their data repository
- Post their datasets and associated metadata to the repository.
Who We Are
The DataUp project is run through the University of California Curation Center (UC3) at the California Digital Library, a division of the University of California Office of the President. UC3 members working on DataUp include Carly Strasser, Trisha Cruse, John Kunze, and Stephen Abrams.
Funders for the project are the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Microsoft Research Connections. The resulting tools from the DataUp project are part of the Investigator Toolkit for DataONE, an NSF DataNet project building cyber-infrastructure that links together existing archives of ecological and environmental scientific data. The Outercurve Foundation holds the code's copyright and DataUp is part of their Research Accelerators Gallery.
A word of heartfelt thanks goes out to Lee Dirks, Director for Portfolio Strategy at Microsoft Research Connections. Lee, who passed away in a tragic car accident in the final stages of this project, was a scholar and a gentleman, as well as one of the visionaries behind DataUp. He supported our efforts from the beginning and stood solidly alongside us through the creation of a tool that he believed would help facilitate time to discovery in environmental science. It is the deepest wish of all of the DataUp sponsors, developers and investigators that Lee were here to celebrate with us the release of a tool he believed could make a difference to the curation of data for the long tail of science.