Skip to main content

Data Collection Development Guidelines


The Library collects and maintains datasets to support the educational mission of the university. This document outlines the criteria used by the Library in acquiring datasets for use by the Ontario Tech community. Responsibility for the collection is shared by the subject librarians, the Data Librarian, and the Associate Librarian for Collections. The Library welcomes requests for datasets from all members of the Ontario Tech community.


Datasets are primarily collected to support the curriculum at Ontario Tech, with preference given to datasets that will support multiple members of the Ontario Tech community, both immediately and in the future. The Library does not purchase datasets which are restricted to use by an individual researcher, department or faculty. Datasets will be purchased only if their terms of use permit them to be available for use by all Ontario Tech faculty, staff, and students. The Library does not purchase datasets for its collection which are freely available elsewhere. Datasets from all geographic areas are purchased, although data with a Canadian focus are preferred. Data and documentation in English are preferred.

Selection Criteria

Library staff will examine each dataset request individually, with consideration given to each of the following criteria:

  • Cost/benefit
  • Relevance to the curriculum and faculty research interests
  • Quality of documentation including codebooks and relevant metadata
  • Quality of data (accuracy, authority, completeness)
  • Format compatible with statistical software used by Ontario Tech community
  • Currency, historical relevance, and longevity
  • Vendor/publisher reliability and support available
  • Accessibility and ease of use
  • Size and storage
  • Terms of use (number of simultaneous users, usage restrictions, download rights, perpetual access, etc.)


For information about the Library’s data services or to recommend datasets for acquisition or purchase, contact a subject librarian or email

chat loading...