University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) invites faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students to express their interest in acquiring commercially available data sets through the Libraries' Data Purchase Program.

About the Program

Access to numeric, spatial, and other forms of data produced by others can be essential for research. While Open Data is becoming more widely available, there are still many cases where data are only commercially available. To support data-dependent research better, the Libraries is piloting a demand-driven data purchase program.

Examples of data that might be considered for purchase include:


Purchased data will become part of the library collection and made available for general use by the campus community, as permitted by its license. $5,000 has been allocated for the Data Purchase Program. Amounts awarded for individual proposals will depend upon the total number and suitability of applications received at the time of review.

Important Dates

The review process will begin November 20th, 2016 with preference given to applications arriving before the new year. Requests will be adjudicated with purchases made by March 31, 2017.

To Apply

Requests will be made via an online form. Please address the following in your request:

  • goals of your research project
  • relevance of the requested data to your project
  • data source and/or where you learned about this data
  • any other particular requirements (e.g., specific years for time-series data, etc.)
  • preferred file format

Our criteria for considering requests includes the following:

  • the capacity of the data to be used by multiple researchers
  • price of the data
  • number of requests received

If you have questions regarding this program, please contact Research Data Management Services at: