There is a strong consensus in the scientific community that digital repositories are a critical component of the Nation’s research infrastructure. This is especially true as repositories are evolving from storage spaces for basic raw data to facilities that support complex functionality, advanced data queries, and the use of specific analytic tools. In an environment where maintaining data repositories is expensive and resources are finite, efficiency demands developing new tools and methodologies to assess the impact of digital repositories; this is necessary to be able to vouch for and communicate the authenticity, reliability, accessibility, and usability of the repositories. Systematic assessment approaches and well-understood metrics – both quantitative and qualitative – are needed.

On February 28 – March 1, 2017, the Big Data Interagency Working Group (BD IWG) held a workshop, Measuring the Impact of Digital Repositories. The aim of the workshop was to identify current assessment metrics, tools, and methodologies that are effective in measuring the impact of digital data repositories, and to identify the assessment issues, obstacles, and tools that require additional research and development (R&D). This workshop brought together leaders from academic, journal, government, and international data repository funders, users, and developers to integrate existing knowledge and work toward an understanding of next steps. Workshop participants were asked to share experiences and perspectives on how best to assess the impact of any given digital repository.  “Measuring the Impact of Digital Repositories: Summary of Big Data Workshop” outlines procedures and technologies to measure the impact of data repositories, and innovative strategies to improve their financial sustainability.

The BD IWG evaluated and integrated the workshop discussions and existing literature into recommendations for R&D to address the impact assessment and sustainability needs for data repositories. “Measuring the Impact of Digital Repositories: Recommendations” outlines BD IWG’s recommendations and steps to accomplish R&D goals related to data repositories.