News and notes from your librarian: the Deep Blue edition

Hey everyone! With spring upon us, I’m looking forward to more time spent outdoors and fewer trees falling in my yard. (Really, it’s been a bad late winter for downed trees out here.) Spring, of course, also means opening up the Biological Station Library, and I’ll be packing in the coming weeks to ferry new materials up there for the year’s research and teaching. Today, though, I’d like to talk about a library service that might have flown under your radar: Deep Blue.

“So, Scott,” you may inquire, “exactly what is Deep Blue?” So glad you asked! Deep Blue Documents (DB Docs) and Deep Blue Data (DB Data) are a pair of open-access institutional repositories operated by the U-M Library for the purpose of disseminating research, teaching, learning, and creative products authored by the U-M community. U-M faculty, students, and staff can deposit into these repositories for free, and the deposited materials are (generally) available to anyone with an internet connection. Deposits in the repositories receive a DOI, which serves as a means of creating permanent links to the deposited materials as well as an identifier for citation.The U-M Library commits to preserving materials in Deep Blue for the long term.

The word “documents” in DB Docs might lead you to believe that this is a place to deposit papers, and while you’ll certainly find lots of papers here, DB Docs is a vast repository of any materials meant to be consumed primarily by humans. In addition to published papers, DB Docs contains dissertations, theses, audio recordings, slide decks, posters, archived websites, teaching materials, and more!

DB Docs maintains connections with Michigan Research Experts and ORCID, to make it easier to represent your research output in multiple locations.It also provides monthly download counts and access to citation and altmetrics indicators to help you characterize the reach of your work.

DB Data complements DB Docs by providing a repository for data sets: any collection of information that you intend primarily to be analyzed computationally, using statistical analysis, machine learning, visualization systems like GIS, or any number of other tools. Unlike disciplinary repositories, DB Data accepts deposits from all disciplines and a wide variety of data types; we can also accept very large files, thanks to our integration with Globus (please contact us first if you want to deposit more than 1 TB). The U-M Library’s data curation specialists will review your deposit before it goes live, and may suggest edits to your documentation, data files or metadata in order to align with FAIR principles for sharing data.

Hopefully, this has piqued your interest in depositing your work into DB Docs and DB Data. For DB Docs, contact to be added to the appropriate departmental collection. Once added, you’ll be able to deposit your works at any time. For DB Data, no need to be added to a collection – you can start a deposit immediately! 

If you have questions about the Deep Blue repositories, you can contact my Research Data Services colleagues directly at For other information needs related to your research or teaching, get in touch with me – you’ll find my contact information and Zoom office hour schedule on my library profile page.