Creating A Public Dataset from a Plant Ecology Class Research Project: The Value of Digital Commons as a Pedagogical Tool for Research

Document Type


Publication Date



his presentation will highlight the recent collaboration between an undergraduate plant ecology class and the library’s Digital Commons administrator. After conducting original research on mistletoe plants, the class attended a hands-on workshop facilitated by the Discovery Services Librarian on data management and the value of creating original datasets from research. Using the mistletoe data collected for the study, the class developed a dataset in universal format, and a metadata readme file to be made available in Digital Commons. The benefits of using Digital Commons in this pedagogical format benefited both the students in the course and the university. Students gained a deeper understanding of their research methodology by developing the metadata for their study.This project provided a concrete visual for students concerning the lasting impact their projects can have on the broader scientific community. The ability of Digital Commons to host a variety of material makes it ideal for capturing the university’s undergraduate research projects, starting with data and moving beyond. Future courses will have the option to utilize these data and build upon them, creating a perfect cycle for open pedagogy opportunities. Additional resources created from this dataset, such as more robust datasets, images, graphs, figures, posters, and publications can also be collected, archived, and linked to this dataset. Participants will hear from students involved in the project and develop an appreciation for how Digital Commons can be utilized as a pedagogical tool to help teach data management at the undergraduate level.


DC SEUG 2020 Conference