In August 2020, the McGill Library launched a pilot of the McGill Dataverse, a local solution for research data management and archiving. McGill faculty, students, and staff are welcome to deposit datasets in the McGill Dataverse repository. All data are stored securely on servers located in Canada. Data can be publicly accessible, available to specific individuals, or private/restricted. The pilot will last 2-3 months as we refine our intake processing procedure for data. Please contact alisa.rod [at] mcgill.ca (Alisa Rod), Research Data Management Specialist, if you would be interested in participating in the pilot project to help build community around research data best practices at McGill.
The McGill Dataverse can be found by following this URL: https://dataverse.scholarsportal.info/dataverse/mcgill
Benefits of Publishing Data
- Long-term archiving and preservation
- Ensure transparency and reproducibility
- Increase visibility of your research
- Enable reuse of the data
- Fulfill grant or journal mandates
Creating a McGill Dataverse Account
- Go to the McGill University Dataverse and select Log In from the top right page menu options. Alternatively, you can go to Scholars Portal Dataverse and select Log In from the menu options at the top right of the page.
- Before depositing data, please contact rdm.library [at] mcgill.ca so that the Research Data Management Specialist can create a dataverse for you, your project, or your lab or research team and assign to you the appropriate permissions so you can add and publish datasets. You will not be able to add datasets until the Research Data Management Specialist has assigned these permissions to you.
Dataverses and Datasets
With Dataverse, a researcher can upload a dataset (which can contain multiple files, documentation/README, etc) and/or a dataverse (which is a container that can hold multiple datasets).
For researchers who have multiple datasets, you could set up a dataverse for yourself or your lab/research group. This could also be contained in a disciplinary high level dataverse (such as by department or faculty).
How to Deposit Data*
Select the Dataverse
- Choose the dataverse you want to deposit data into. You can find the list of dataverses you have permission to deposit to via: My Data (in the dropdown menu from your account name in the upper right)
Create a New Dataset
- Click + Add Data, and choose New Dataset from the dropdown menu
- Select a dataset Template for the desired Creative Commons license (default license is CC0)
- Be aware: selecting a template will clear all other data fields, so do this first. Fill in Required Metadata fields marked with a * Note: many more metadata fields become available for editing after your dataset is saved.
- If desired, fill in additional metadata fields. RECOMMENDED: Keywords, Related Publications. You can save the dataset without adding any files
Upload Data Files
- The Files section is at the bottom of the page, below the Citation Metadata.
- Drag and drop files from your desktop or click + Select Files To Add.
- Max file size: 3 Gb. If your files are too large, try putting them into a .zip file, or contact rdm.library [at] mcgill.ca for help.
- Describe the files: Title, Description, Tags.
- Click Save Changes button. This saves the dataset in Draft form; it is not yet published nor publicly visible.
- Once a dataset is created, Dataverse assigns a DOI to permanently identify it.
- You can also assign a Private URL to share with a journal without publishing the data. Click Edit -> Private URL -> Create Private URL (e.g. in the case that the journal requires a blind review and a link to the data for the reviewers; or, in the case that you would prefer not to publish the dataset before the related publication is published).
Edit your dataset
- You can edit elements of your dataset at any time using the Files, Metadata, and Terms (license and use permissions) tabs at the bottom of the page. Files can also be Restricted so they are available only on request. Under the dataset Files tab, select Edit Files -> Restrict.
Publishing your Data
During the pilot phase of this project, the deposit workflow will be fully mediated. This means that once you are ready to publish your dataset, select Submit for Review, and then the draft dataset will be reviewed by the research data management specialist. If the metadata fields are complete and descriptive, and there are no issues with the data file(s) or format(s), the McGill Dataverse administrator will publish the dataset and it will then be available publicly.
Licensing Your Data
Template license options include:
- CC 0 (public domain, unambiguously waive all copyright control over your data in all jurisdictions worldwide. Data released with CC0 can be freely copied, modified, and distributed, even for commercial purposes, without violating copyright). This is the default license in Dataverse, as one goal of the project is to promote open science best practices.
- CC BY (This license lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.)
- CC BY-NC (This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.)
- CC BY-SA (This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms)
- CC BY-NC-SA (This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.)
Not sure what license to select? Creative Commons has a neat tool to help.
For more information about Creative Commons licenses, contact the copyright [at] mcgill.ca (Copyright and Digital Collections Librarian).
Further Resources and Information about the Scholar's Portal Dataverse project in Canada
- This page contains a step-by-step guide to creating a Scholar's Portal Dataverse account (with your McGill credentials), with screen shots.
- Scholar's Portal also hosts an advanced user guide for more specific questions/scenarios.
- For general information about the Scholar's Portal Dataverse project (of which McGill is a sub-dataverse), please refer to this FAQ page.
- For detailed information on metadata standards and best practices, please refer to this guide.
*This section was adapted from this guide by Melissa Cuthill and Eugene Barsky, UBC, CC-BY