Data Management

Welcome to the library’s home for Data Management! If your external funding agency has an open data mandate, we want to help you craft a data management plan to manage, preserve, and publish your research data in UTC Scholar, the university’s institutional repository.

Create a Data Management Plan (DMP)

The library strongly advises the use of DMPTool, a free, online tool that takes you step-by-step through the process of creating a DMP that meets the standards of more than 30 funding agencies. Alternatively, you may employ our Data Management Plan Template to draft your DMP. If you opt for the template, your funder may require you to address more topics than covered in our template.

Additionally, you may find the following resources useful for creating plans:

Consult with the Library

Once you have created a draft of your DMP, we strongly advise that you request a Data Management Consultation. During this consultation, you’ll meet with a librarian to review your plan and learn about options for long-term preservation in UTC Scholar.

If you have questions regarding data management, do not hesitate to email UTC Scholar.

Request a Data Management Consultation

Obtain Permission

If you are planning to archive media, such as interviews, webinars, and other recordings, we advise the use of the following release form templates in addition to appropriate IRB approval:

At the conclusion of your project, we recommend that you plan to archive the original hard copy of each signed release form collected with the Library. This ensures that releases are stored in a secure environment and curated according to leading practices in Special Collections.

Equipment and Software

For projects that will result in the creation of audio/video recordings, we recommend purchasing the same equipment and software as the Library's Studio. This ensures that you have an on campus resource for your hardware and software.

File Formats

The likelihood of long-term preservation of content and functionality is higher when submitted formats possess the following characteristics:

  • complete and open documentation
  • platform-independence
  • non-proprietary (vendor-independent)
  • no lossy or proprietary compression
  • no embedded files, programs or scripts
  • no full or partial encryption
  • no password protection

Below is a list of file formats with a high probability of long-term preservation of content and functionality. We recommend that researchers depositing works in UTC Scholar or any other repository, submit file formats with a high probability for long-term preservation, and consider converting file formats with a lower probability of long-term preservation to formats with a higher probability. Email for help selecting file formats and with file conversion.

  • Text
    • Plain text (encoding: USASCII, UTF-8, UTF-16 with BOM) (*.txt)
    • PDF/A-1 (ISO 19005-1) (*.pdf)
  • Still Image
    • TIFF (uncompressed) (*.tif)
    • JPEG2000 (lossless) (*.jp2)
    • SVG (no Java script binding) (*.svg)
  • Sound
    • AIFF (PCM) (*.aif, *.aiff)
    • WAV (PCM) (*.wav)
  • Moving Image
    • AVI (uncompressed, motion JPEG) (*.avi)
    • QuickTime Movie (uncompressed, motion JPEG) (*.mov)
  • Dataset
    • Comma Separated Values (*.csv)
    • Delimited Text (*.txt)
  • Presentation
    • PDF/A-1 (ISO 19005-1) (*.pdf)

Archive Your Data

During your data management consultation, librarians will work with you to identify an appropriate repository to archive your data.

UTC Scholar

If you are planning to publish the final version of your data in UTC Scholar, the university's institutional repository, please review Submission Guidelines for Research and Data as you draft your DMP or proposal. You may also consider adding the following language to your DMP:

A long-term data sharing and preservation plan will be used to store and make publicly accessible the data beyond the life of the project. The data will be deposited into UTC Scholar, the institutional repository on the grantees' campus. Deposit in UTC Scholar will ensure that the research community has long-term access to the data and that best practices in digital preservation will safeguard the files. Best practices include off-site hourly and daily backups of files in a redundant storage cluster with regular back ups to a commercial cloud service that performs regular, systematic data integrity checks. In accordance with UTC Scholar practices, the (de-identified, if applicable) data will be accompanied by the appropriate documentation, metadata, and code to facilitate reuse and provide the potential for interoperability with similar data sets.


UTC Scholar promotes visibility of your research by pushing metadata to harvesters and aggregators such as SHARE, EBSCO Open Dissertations, and WorldCat. Between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, 1,497 works in UTC Scholar were downloaded 183,812 times by site visitors from 10,334 institutions in 205 countries.

More information about the way your data is preserved in UTC Scholar is available from Safeguarding Your Content with Digital Commons authored by the vendor that supports our institutional repository, bepress.

Please note that once researchers submit data to UTC Scholar there is a Library-mediated process to make changes. We recommend submitting final, reviewed copies that are ready for online publication to avoid mistakenly posting incomplete or unfinished work.

UTC Digital Collections

The Library's Special Collections partners with students, faculty, and community groups to grow our Digital Collections to foster opportunities for community engagement, exhibition, experiential learning, and applied research methods. If you have coordinated with the Director of Special Collections to publish your data in UTC Digital Collections, the digital library management by Special Collections, you may consider adding the following language to your DMP or proposal.

Digital masters and derivatives are stored by the Library at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) are written to a Synology data system with two copies located in geographically separated UTC Library and Campus Data Centers. The Library's Synology cluster stores the data in such a way that the data can survive the loss of any two disks. Files written to the Library Data Center are backed up daily at 17:30 ET, retaining the previous 50 versions of the daily back up. The cluster in the Campus Data Center verifies, using a checksum procedure, that data has not been altered on write. In the case that full recovery is needed, the array may be recovered from any of the currently available versions of the backup.


UTC Digital Collections promotes visibility of your research by pushing metadata to harvesters and aggregators such as Digital Public Library of America, ArchiveGrid, and WorldCat. Between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, 3,664 site visitors from 50 countries viewed 118,177 pages in 6,335 sessions.

Please note that researchers are unable to submit data directly to UTC Digital Collections. Special Collections works closely with collaborators to ensure that data is digitally captured in accordance with specifications defined by the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative.

Examples of past collaborations include the following digital library and data curation projects that meet the requirements expressed our Collection Development Policy: