Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Policies

Sharing Data


General Information

What is the Texas Data Repository?
  • The Texas Data Repository is a platform for publishing and archiving small datasets (and other data products) created by faculty, staff, and students at Texas higher education institutions.  The repository is built in an open­source application called Dataverse, originally developed and used by Harvard University.
What is Dataverse?
  • The Texas Data Repository is an installation of open source Dataverse. Dataverse is a free and open source software platform for publishing, citing, and preserving research data. Dataverse was developed by the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) at Harvard University. Harvard’s IQSS operates the largest Dataverse repository, with roughly 60,000 datasets. Dataverse is interoperable with other Dataverse installations and systems (like Open Journal Systems), providing opportunities for greater visibility of data.
What’s the difference between a dataverse and a dataset? 
  • A dataverse is a container for datasets (research data, code, documentation, and metadata) and other dataverses, which can be setup for individual researchers, departments, journals and organizations.
  • A researcher who logs in to the Texas Data Repository can create a dataverse as a place to collect all their datasets. (Alternatively, they could just deposit datasets into the repository without creating a dataverse to contain them. There is no requirement to create a dataverse.)
  • If a researcher does create a dataverse, they become the administrators of that dataverse, with the ability to change to customize the logo and description of that dataverse, control access restrictions to the dataverse, create templates for datasets deposited there, and create guestbooks to track who downloads their datasets.
Who is behind this project?
  • The Texas Data Repository is hosted and maintained by the Texas Digital Library, a consortium of academic libraries in Texas with a proven history of providing shared technology services that support secure, reliable access to digital collections of research and scholarship.
What is the Texas Digital Library?
  • The Texas Digital Library (TDL) is a consortium of higher education institutions in Texas that provides shared services in support of research, teaching, and the advancement of scholarship. TDL provides a range of services and engagement opportunities to members including shared software hosting, technical support, professional development opportunities, and collaborative engagement.
How do I know if my institution is participating in TDR?
  • Institutional members of the Texas Digital Library may opt in to the Texas Data Repository service and offer it to researchers at their university. Members listed on the Help page of the Texas Data Repository have opted into the service. If your institution is not listed, contact the Texas Digital Library or the library on your campus to inquire about participation.
  • For a list of Texas Digital Library member institutions, visit http://tdl.org/members.
How do I get started? 
  • Log in to https://dataverse.tdl.org using your institutional username and password. You’ll see a drop down menu where you can select your institution’s name. Then just use your regular institutional credentials to log in.
  • Optionally, create a new “dataverse” for collecting all your datasets in a single location. A dataverse is simply a container for collecting multiple datasets or studies.
  • Add a dataset, which can include multiple files such as raw data files and supplementary materials.
  • To help others discover and understand the data, provide some information about what you’ve uploaded in the forms provided.
  • Hit publish! Or, if you would like to restrict access to the data, you can share only with a select few.
  • Go to the TDR User Guide for more detail.
Why should I deposit data in the Texas Data Repository?

There are a number of reasons why you might want to deposit data, including?

  • To comply with funding requirements. The Texas Data Repository can help you comply with funder mandates data archiving and sharing, and gives you resources for developing data management plans and grant applications.
  • To ensure reliable, managed access for data. The Texas Data Repository gives you a convenient and reliable place to collect and share your data. And by depositing data there, you benefit from the TDL’s focus on long-term access and preservation of your content.
  • To increase scholarly impact. By publishing your data in the Texas Data Repository, you give your data a DOI, making it easy for others to cite reliably.
  • To collaborate with research teams. Some situations may necessitate restricting access to data, at least for a period of time. The Texas Data Repository allows you to share your data with a select group of colleagues, version your data, and publish it when you’re ready.
  • To have access to local support through your institution’s library. Along with robust technical support from the Texas Digital Library, you can rely on trained librarians at your home institution to assist with multiple phases of the research cycle, including data management planning, preparation for data publishing, and long-term curation.

Policies and Data Basics

What kind of data can I deposit?
  • Researchers can deposit a wide variety of data and related electronic materials to the Texas Data Repository, including spreadsheets, sensor and instrumental data, surveys, GIS data, and imagery, along with associated material such as codebooks or data dictionaries. Any individual file uploaded to the repository must be under 2GB.
  • The Texas Data Repository encourages data deposit from all disciplines and can accept any type of data file, though it is advisable to provide data in non-proprietary formats in order to ensure broader use for researchers with access to different analytic software.
  • By default, published data is assigned a CC0 license, so that others may freely access and build upon the work. Researchers can alter this license and create custom terms of use for their data if appropriate.
  • The Texas Data Repository does NOT accept content that contains confidential or sensitive information, and requires that contributors remove, replace, or redact such information from datasets prior to upload. Confidential or sensitive information refers to all identifiable information, such that re-identification of any subjects from the amalgamation of the information available from all of the materials is possible and can include: social security numbers; credit card numbers; medical record numbers; health plan numbers; other account numbers of individuals; or biometric identifiers (fingerprints, retina, voice print, DNA, etc.).
What format should I use to provide access to my data?
  • Researchers can upload any type of data file through Dataverse. Additional features and support for certain types of data files exist, such as:
    • Tabular data (CSV, RData, DTA)
    • GIS Shape data (DBS, PRJ, SBN, SBX, SHP.xml, SHP.EA.ISO.xml, SHP.iso.xml, SHX)
    • Astronomy data: FITS
  • Whenever possible, it is advisable to provide data in non-proprietary formats (e.g., CSV or XML) in order to ensure broader use for researchers with access to different analytic software. Note that data must be provided in an electronic format. Additional information on best practices for file formats is available here.
How large can datasets be?
  • The Texas Data Repository is intended for small data. Individual files sizes must be no more than 2GB. Full datasets (which may include multiple files) should be no more than 10GB.
  •  If you have files larger than 2GB, please contact the TDL Helpdesk: support@tdl.org.
What are the options for access to my data and licensing
  • In order to promote access to research data and compliance with funding agency mandates, the default access for data ingested in the pilot study is open access with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-0) license. There are additional options for licensing (e.g., Creative Commons), requiring a request to access your data, restricting access, and defining the terms of use.
What will it cost me to deposit data?
  • Currently there is no charge to researchers from participating institutions who deposit their data in the Texas Data Repository, within the volume limits explained above (2GB per file, 10GB total per dataset).
  • The Texas Digital Library through funding from its member institutions maintains and supports the Texas Data Repository.
I have data that contains identifiable information about human subjects. Can I add it to the repository? 
  • No. Users of the repository must NOT add data to the repository that contains confidential or sensitive information.
  • In order to deposit data in the repository, users must agree to a “terms of use” statement in which they acknowledge that the repository will NOT accept content that contains confidential or sensitive information, and requires that contributors remove, replace, or redact such information from datasets prior to upload.
  • Confidential or sensitive information refers to all identifiable information, such that re-identification of any subjects from the amalgamation of the information available from all of the materials is possible and can include: social security numbers; credit card numbers; medical record numbers; health plan numbers; other account numbers of individuals; or biometric identifiers (fingerprints, retina, voice print, DNA, etc.).

Sharing and Publishing Data

How can I share my data with colleagues without making the data public?
  • There are several ways to share data you deposit in the TDR without publishing the data. Go to the User Guide Sections 3.2 and 3.4 for more detail.
    • You can provide access to restricted files with anyone (whether they have a TDR user account or not) by creating a private URL.
    • You can include others with TDR user accounts to collaborate in the management of datasets, files, and dataverses. More about sharing data.
What if someone I want to share my data with someone who doesn’t have a user account in TDR?
  • If you just want to provide “read” access to restricted files, you can create and share a private URL that anyone (whether they have a user account or not) can use to access the data. See Section 3.4 of the User Guide for instructions on sharing via a private URL.
  • Other types of sharing and collaborating require that those you are sharing with have user accounts in the TDR. See Section 3.5 of the user guide for instructions on inviting them to create user accounts.