README files for Data and Datasets

Download the README.txt template

A README file is a text file that contains information about other files in a directory. README files date back to the 1970s as a way to capture general information about a piece of software, program, utility, or a game.

For research data, README files are helpful at providing contextual information to help ensure that the data can be correctly interpreted by yourself at a later date, and by others.

At ScholarWorks@UMass, a README file is required before your data is approved for posting in the repository. The general README file we suggest you complete is available here: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/data/readme.txt. You can preview the file here:

https://scholarworks.umass.edu/data/readme.txt

If your discipline already requires more rigorous and detailed README files or metadata, please upload that file with the data you are depositing.

Examples

Example README files are available here:

If you have questions about completing a README file, or other questions about sharing your data, please contact the Data Working Group at dwg@library.umass.edu.