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Monthly Community Calls

Join us for our monthly Scholars Portal Dataverse contacts meeting. The SP team will share updates about development work, platform upgrades, and other projects. There will be lots of opportunities to ask questions and participate in discussions!

These meetings occur on the last Thursday of every month at 1PM EST.

Contact for more information or to suggest agenda topics.

Next meetings:

  • June 23, 2022, 1PM EST (*note rescheduled dates)
  • No meetings in July/August

Meeting slides and notes





  • 2019-12-26 (Cancelled)
  • 2019-11-28
  • 2019-10-31 (Cancelled)
  • 2019-09-26
  • 2019-07-03
    • Meeting slides
    • Topics included permissions recap, new login plans and shibboleth pilot, updates from Dataverse community meeting, Portage updates, CANARIE project update + new blog, RDM summit planning.
  • 2019-04-17
    • Meeting slides and meeting notes
    • Topics included service agreement with BCI, Archivematica-Dataverse integration overview (with Grant Hurley), latest release testing, plans for institutional login, permissions update.
  • 2019-02-21
    • Meeting slides and meeting notes
    • Topics included SP Dataverse support list procedures and local support, Institutional Dataverse permissions, plans for the group.

Article / Dataset Double Blind Review Process in Dataverse

SP Dataverse now supports researchers with article or dataset double-blind review process (contact us for more information)

Researchers requiring anonymity to share a copy of their datasets for article review or dataset review as part of a double-blind review process are able to use an unpublished Dataverse in the SP Dataverse root. Credentials for accessing this Dataverse space for deposit and Private URL sharing with reviewers is supported by Scholars Portal staff and Institutional Admins. It is recommended that each Institution wanting to support researchers with double blind review in Dataverse, add information informing others at their institution about the availability of this workflow in Dataverse guidances and promotional materials. Further information will be added to the SP Dataverse Guides as they are refreshed this year (2021). 


Root Dataverse Setup / Multi-institutional Groups / Journals

SP Dataverse now supports setup of Dataverses in the root (must have an institutional sponsor). To setup, please contact us. A standard template agreement is provided for sharing (may be modified according to local practices). 

SP Dataverse staff can now setup Dataverse collections outside of an Institutional Dataverse for research groups and others that are in need of a separate promotional and/or multi-institutional space. It is required that a sponsoring institution e-mail Scholars Portal directly to request a setup, and the institution must be able to provide that group with training and onboarding support. An initial storage allocation of 100GB is provided, should more be required, this would be supported by the sponsoring institution. It is recommended that an agreement in writing be established between the sponsoring institution and the group, to ensure there is clarity around use of the Dataverse and responsibilities should there be a need to transfer the data over to the library in the future. A template is available for these kind of agreements, which can be amended by institutions to suit their needs. Further information will be added to the SP Dataverse Guides as they are refreshed this year (Updated 2022). 

Known issues and common questions

IssueStatus/Recommended Solution
Unable to upload a zip file in Dataverse without being unzippedRecommended to double-zip the file to maintain as a zip or use a tar package.
I did not receive an email for approval to publish a dataset

Confirm that you are still an admin for the Dataverse where the data was published, particularly if it's in a sub-dataverse. Verify the permissions to ensure that users are "submitting datasets for review"

Error uploading file "Tabular ingest failed" 

For tabular file types (e.g., excel, csv, SPSS, etc), Dataverse tries to produce a non-proprietary format (tab-delimited) as part of its tabular ingest process. Users can still download the original format, in addition to this derivative file. More details can be found here:

The tabular ingest can fail for a number of reasons. Common issues include commas within the cells. If the data is a text string, you could wrap the text in quotation marks. 

However, you can also ignore the error. The file will still be downloadable by other users as is and users won’t be able to see the caution symbol (viewable only by admins/curators/contributors of the dataset). Just so you know, if Dataverse cannot convert it into a tab file, it won’t be able to be used with the Data Explorer or the Data Curation tool, for example.

Why isn't my institution in the drop down menu upon login/sign-up?The drop-down menu is only for institutions who have registered for the Shibboleth Research & Scholarship entity profile, so their users can login using their institution’s single sign-on. More details below.
Can users who are not affiliated with an institution create an account?Anyone can sign up for an account in Dataverse and will receive an affiliation of "OTHER." Those who are not affiliated with a participating institution need to request access to deposit by the Dataverse admins or the collaborators who are affiliated with a participating institution.
How do I create file hierarchies for my dataset?

We found the easiest approach is to zip up the folder that contains the files within the hierarchy. Dataverse will unpack the zip and the directory structure will be stored in the metadata (you can view this by looking at the file name paths). Once you save the dataset, you can toggle between the flat file structure “table view” and the “tree view” to see the hierarchy. You can also edit the file metadata to make any changes to the file hierarchy.

I logged in with Shibboleth/single sign-on and no longer have the same permissions level.In some cases, the email address that your initial account was created with and the email used by Shibboleth may be different - in this case, you may end up with 2 accounts in the system. To resolve this issue, contact the Scholars Portal team to merge these accounts.
Can I create a custom permissions role for my dataverse?Custom roles can be created through the API by super users (the SP team). To create a custom role, contact the Scholars Portal team.
Can I change the year used in a dataset citation?The year in the dataset citation can be changed with the Dataverse API as long as it exists in the dataset's metadata record (e.g. as the date of distribution, or date of deposit). If you are not familiar with how to use the API, contact the Scholars Portal team to run the command. In your email, please include a link to the dataset and which metadata field you want to use for the citation date.

You can find out more about the API command used on our Dataverse API page.
What external sources are harvesting SP Dataverse metadata records?

Single Sign-On (Shibboleth)

When a user goes to the "Log In" page for Dataverse, they are presented with a list of institutions that they can login with. These institutions listed have implemented Shibboleth with SP Dataverse.

SP Dataverse allows for Shibboleth (single-sign on) login through integration with the CAF Research and Scholarship (R&S) Entity Category. This category is required to use Shibboleth within Dataverse - this is because the email, first and last name of user are required to be sent back to Dataverse for a successful Shibboleth login, and these attributes are released within this category.

In order to use Shibboleth with SP Dataverse at your institution, you will need to be registered with the Canadian Access Federation (CAF), be using Federated Identity Management with CAF, and then also be in the Research and Scholarship (R&S) Entity Category. There is no extra cost associated with the R&S category, but you will need to coordinate signing up for this with your institution's IT department. If you are not sure what your institution is using with CAF, you can review this table on the CAF website.

Depending on the local setup at your institution, your IT group managing Shibboleth may need to release these attributes to once you have signed up for the R&S category. In some cases this is done automatically, but it varies based on local configuration.

You can find out more about the R&S entity category and how to join on the Canarie website .

Admin Groups

Permissions for institutional dataverses are managed through a functionality called "Admin Groups" for some institutions. Individual users are added to these groups, and permissions are then given to the whole group. The Admin Group has been assigned as the main administrative access to your institutional Dataverse. Institutional administrators will only appear within this Admin Group and can be added/removed as needed. Individual administrator names will no longer appear in the institutional dataverse Permissions, existing datasets, or new datasets and dataverses.

However, administrative access to dataverses that existed before this Admin Group was set up will still display individual administrators in their Permissions. For these existing dataverses, manual intervention is needed in order to remove existing, individual administrative access and to add the Admin Group. Once this manual change is completed, it will never have to be done again.

Add Your Admin Group to Existing Sub-Dataverses

Please refer to the instructions provided in the Scholars Portal Dataverse Guide, specifically the section of the guide titled Advanced Permissions. However, instead of looking for an IP group, look for and select the Admin Group for your institutional Dataverse and assign the Admin role to it. If you don't see an Admin Group for your institution, contact the SP team to create one for you.

In addition to adding the Admin Group to the permissions, you’ll also want to delete existing institutional administrators from the list of permissions. Click Remove Assigned Role in the rows for each individual administrator you want to remove from the sub-dataverse.

Once all users and groups have been updated, click Save Changes to close the window and save the updates you made.

Note: Adding and removing permissions will generate notification emails to all users whose permissions have changed.

Updating Your Admin Group

When you need to update your Admin Group, first make sure you are in your institutional Dataverse. Click Edit and select Groups. Click the Edit button in the row for your Admin Group. Add and remove group members as needed, then click Save Changes. Once the changes are saved, those changes will be reflected immediately in ALL datasets and sub-dataverses. No additional changes are required.

Note: Changes to groups will NOT generate notification emails.

SP Dataverse Support Email List

The purpose of the “dataverse-support-l” listserv is to provide an open messaging system for local contacts to view and respond to Scholars Portal Dataverse incoming end-user requests. Local contacts can view all users questions, respond to their own users questions, and / or engage in exchange with other local contacts and SP staff about issues reported or other Dataverse-related topics.

Getting setup with Dataverse Support 


  • Scholars Portal Dataverse staff will provide basic and technical end-user support services to institutional Dataverse contacts and library staff that request support; 
  • Institutional Dataverse contacts  will provide end-user support to users, and if needed escalate to SP; 
    • The institutional contact will respond to the user and cc the list;
    • If 48 hours (2 business days) have passed since the email has been received, Scholars Portal Dataverse staff will respond to the user (list cc’d).
    • If the institutional contact prefers to respond off-list to the user, letting the list know that you are doing so required.

Responsibilities of schools

  • Responding to end users in a timely manner is very important, please try to respond within 48 hours (2 business days)
  • If responding to a user, institutional contacts should cc the list in first response;
  • Where possible, institutional contacts should include the list on subsequent end-user follow-up messages to provide additional information to list subscribers and possibly assist with future requests that are similar. 
  • Example response when the request requires further technical investigation and is not immediately solvable by local staff and/or support from SP Dataverse staff:
    • “Hello. Thank you for getting in touch with us. We are looking into the issue and will get back to you with a response in a timely manner.” 

Listserv message responsibility workflow

Dataverse Service Annual Reports

SP Dataverse Consortium Annual Report, 2020-2021 (English| French)

SP Dataverse Consortium, Fall Update Report, 2021 (English | French)

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