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Dataverse: Guide for Researchers: Things to Consider



     UM DATAVERSE GUIDE: Considerations

Repository Services

Researchers must follow the data collection and retention plans that were approved by their Research Ethics Board (REB), if applicable. If you did not specify in your REB application that information would be held in Dataverse, you can go back to the REB and make an amendment. REBs will want to know whether data will be restricted in Dataverse, who will have access to it, and for how long.

Consideration Checklist:

Things to Consider BEFORE Depositing Data

Access (Beyond the Research Team)

  1. Does your research involve Human Subjects Data?
    • If yes, what limitations did you agree to with your Research Ethics Approval?
      • The permissions applied to the dataset must conform to the REB approval.
    • If no, who would you like to have access to your data?
      • Think broadly about this question - if you retire or leave the University, who would you want to have permission to see the data?
      • This information should be included in the Terms and Conditions of Access for the dataset so that Libraries staff will be able to provide access to the appropriate people in the future.
  2. Should any or all of your data be open for anyone to download?
    • If yes, make sure the dataverse is published and access to the files is not restricted.
    • Note that once a dataverse has been published, it cannot be deleted, only deaccessioned. This means that the datasets will no longer be publicly accessible, but a landing page including the basic citation information will remain under that URL and DOI.
  3. Should any or all of your data NEVER be available to anyone?
    • If yes, make sure that these files are restricted.
    • If it should NEVER be available to anyone, do you need to publish the dataverse? Publishing the dataverse but keeping the files restricted would let people know that the data exists, but not make it available to be downloaded.
  4. If you are making data available to select people, would you like to be solely responsible for granting access, or would you like to have someone from the Libraries assist with this?
    • If requesting help from library staff, information about who should have access should be specified in the Terms of Access for the dataset.

Data Retention

If your research was approved by an REB, your data must be retained for the duration specified in the approved application, and you must provide this information to the Libraries upon establishing your dataverse.

For research projects which did not involve REB approval, the default retention period is 7 years.

  1. How long will you retain your data in Dataverse? This can depend on the REB approval and/or your choice (see above).
    • Note that you are responsible for deleting or deaccessioning your data at the appropriate time.
    • If you plan to delete or deaccession your data at some point in the future, inform your liaison librarian. Library staff will contact you with a reminder at the appropriate time.

Data Sharing and Restrictions

Consider who should have access to your data. Data published on Dataverse is given a Creative Commons 0 license by default. You can change this license for each dataset.

You may also choose to restrict access to one or more files in your dataset. 

If your research involved an REB application, you must follow the data collection and retention plans that were approved. If you did not specify in your REB application that information would be held in Dataverse, you must make an amendment to your application



UM faculty who are primary investigators (PI) will be given the Admin role for their dataverse, while collaborators and research assistants can be assigned roles depending on the requirements of their position. The PI will be responsible for assigning roles to other users on their research team. It is important for researchers to keep the roles updated and current. We recommend that researchers keep the number of users with a high level of access (Admin and Curator roles in particular) to a minimum.

Learn more about roles and corresponding permissions.


Publishing in UM Dataverse

Take care that your dataverse is ready for publication before you publish it. Once published, it can be edited, but not unpublished. 

RSDS Contact

Arrange to meet with a Librarian for assistance with UM Dataverse for your research.