Last Updated: January 13, 2023
Supersedes/Amends Policy dated: June 24, 2022
This document will help researchers at the University of Victoria follow best practices for depositing research data for archiving and publication in Borealis: The Canadian Dataverse Repository.
Research data deposited into Dataverse must either be generated through the course of a research project and/or deposited with the expectation of future use for research purposes.
Many files may be created over the course of a research project. An important step for Depositors in preparing their data for deposit is the selection or appraisal of which files should be archived. In making these decisions, Depositors should provide enough supporting documentation for other researchers to understand how data were created, reproduce methods and findings, and reuse the data files.
When making decisions of what documentation to include with your data, consider what someone (or your future self) would need to know to understand, evaluate, analyze, or replicate your data without having to ask you.
When possible, Depositors are strongly encouraged to include a version of their raw data, in addition to any processed data used in published analyses and figures. If raw data contain any sensitive information, Depositors should follow best practices for de-identification and ensure they have the proper permissions to share before depositing.
Note: For scenarios or depositor requests not delineated within these Deposit Guidelines, please refer to the Dataverse User Guide.
Before depositing in Dataverse, Depositors must make sure their dataset(s) meet the following standards.
1. Use consistent and comprehensive file names and structures
Following proper file naming conventions makes it easier to navigate and find specific files, and allows other researchers to understand and reuse your dataset.
A well-structured file hierarchy will make it easier to locate and share your files. Recommended practices include:
2. Deposit your files in preferred file formats to support preservation and reuse
The use of preferred file formats are important to support the long-term preservation of your research data. Consult the following resources for a non-exhaustive list of preferred file formats.
If appropriate, files may be deposited in their original file format, in addition to a preferred format. If you have any questions about preferred file formats for your research data, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Describe your dataset with rich metadata to facilitate discovery
Depositors must complete all required fields in the descriptive metadata. Depositors are strongly encouraged to complete geospatial metadata fields and subject-specific metadata fields, as appropriate. Consult the following resource for guidance on Dataverse metadata fields.
University of Victoria Libraries will suggest changes to the descriptive metadata for the purposes of discovery, reuse, and preservation.
4. Include a ReadMe file to support correct interpretation and reuse of your dataset
For research data to be read and interpreted correctly, it requires sufficient documentation. All deposited datasets must include a “ReadMe” file that includes the following information:
ReadMe files must conform to the following:
Consult the following resource for a basic ReadMe file template:
A data curator at the University of Victoria Libraries will review your deposit for alignment with the Deposit Guidelines. In the case of non-compliance, the Depositor will be asked to make necessary modifications.
Once a data curator has approved your submission, you will be notified and the dataset will be published. All published datasets will receive a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to allow your dataset to be cited.
University of Victoria Libraries commits to preserving published datasets for a period of at least ten years from the date of publication in Borealis. Notwithstanding, our objective remains the continued access and preservation of deposited datasets for the longer term. To support this objective, the University of Victoria Libraries reserves the right to convert deposited files to any medium or format and make multiple copies for the purposes of security, back up, and preservation.
University of Victoria Libraries will never modify file contents and only make changes to file formats in the interest of long-term access and reuse.
Please note, the University of Victoria Libraries does not attempt to judge the scholarly quality of deposited datasets, and trusts the judgement and research expertise of those who created and deposited the Dataset. Thus, a determination of a dataset’s research quality is at the sole discretion of the Contact Person as named in descriptive metadata.
All data deposited into the University of Victoria's Dataverse must be non-restricted data and cannot contain any private, confidential, or other legally protected information (e.g., personal identifiable information). The data producer and the data depositor are responsible for the data’s adherence to relevant ethical norms and standards in the discipline in question.
The requirements and guidance above have been adapted from several sources, including: