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Research Services for People with Disabilities




Controlled Vocabulary

A standardized list of terms used to describe a resource in order to aid discovery later. Controlled vocabulary terms are input as metadata values.

Creator Owned Works

Works created at the University and categorized as "Traditional Academic Works" or "Student Works" are owned by the faculty or student who created them.

Data Anonymization

A process used to anonymize personally identifiable information (PII) from data such as name, gender, social security number, or any other type of data that could be used to identify an individual.

Data Life Cycle

A metaphor used to describe the different stages of a dataset's existence, including creation, analysis, distribution, and archiving. For a visualization and additional information, see IASSIST's blog post on the topic.

Data Management Plan (DMP)

A document that explains the plans to collect, document, store, share, and preserve data generated during a research project. DMPs are commonly required by funding agencies, which may also require a plan to address discipline specific issues.

Data Privacy

A commitment that a person's, group's, or organization's personal and private information is not inappropriately disseminated or disclosed. Data privacy usually involves data anonymization at some level.

Data Publishing

A process that enables a dataset to be discoverable, retrievable and citable.

Data Repository

A website that facilitates the preservation, dissemination, discovery, use, and/or manipulation of datasets.

Digital Preservation

Involves a combination of "policies, strategies, and actions to ensure access to reformatted and born digital content regardless of the challenges of media failure and technological change. The goal of digital preservation is the accurate rendering of authenticated content over time." (from the ALA ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section)


Research activities that use a spectrum of advanced technologies and embrace new research methodologies emerging from increasing access to more sophisticated cyberinfrastructures, networks, and discipline specific applications.

Intellectual Property

Creative works that are represented in some tangible form and are protected by federal law under one or more of the following:

  • Registered or Unregistered Copyright
  • Patent
  • Registered or Unregistered Trademark
  • Trade Secret

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

A contract used to govern the exchange of research materials, like datasets, between two organizations when it is intended to be used for new research purposes.


"Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource. Metadata is often called data about data or information about information." (from NISO) Metadata is structured by Element: Value pairs. For example,

Element: Value

Title: On the Origin of Species

Author: Darwin, Charles

Subject: Biology

Provenance Information

Also known as metadata, provenance information documents the origins of a dataset such as location, equipment used, personnel involved, date, and other elements of varying specificity depending on the level of granularity required to adequately describe the dataset to allow other researchers to determine relevance.

Research Data

Information produced in the course of funded or unfunded research that is not part of the published data output.


A schema is a structured set of metadata elements. There are discipline specific schemas such as Darwin Core for the Life Sciences, VRA Core for the humanities, and many more. Some schemas are international standards, such as ISO 19115 for the Earth Sciences.

Scholarly Communication

"The system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use." (from the Association of Research Libraries)

University Owned Works

Works, other than "Creator Owned Works," for which the University owns the copyright. This includes works created as part of a grant or contract and works created as an employment duty or responsibility.