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We are happy to announce that the new Odesi site will officially go live on October 4, 2023.   

Over the past year, the project migration team has worked hard to ensure that all the data and metadata has been migrated to the new repository in Borealis, the Canadian Dataverse Repository 

We thank everyone involved in the Odesi migration including the project team, the data community, and Compute Ontario for funding support.   

Scholars Portal hosted a webinar about the new Odesi on September 21, 2023. A recording of the webinar is now available on the Scholars Portal YouTube Channel, and presentation slides are available for reference and reuse in instruction. 

Odesi Beta Site  

The Odesi re-launch will also feature a new user interface and we encourage you to explore the beta site prior to the official release!   

Updated Odesi User Guide 

A draft version of the updated Odesi User Guide (English-only) has been prepared to support libraries and end-users with the transition to the new Odesi. This draft guide is available as a Word document so that content may be extracted and added to institution-specific teaching materials. Please note that this draft is for internal purposes only; the content is not final and is not meant to be distributed widely. The final version of the guide may include additional content and updates.  

Additional training materials, including Odesi Best Practices and Deposit Guide will be available for the official Odesi re-launch on October 4. All guides will be released as PDFs, and the content from the updated User Guide will also be available in web format through the current Odesi User Guide on the learn site.  


Send Us Your Feedback 

Please let us know as soon as possible if you have any feedback or notice anything that needs updating for the final version of the User Guide, including updated institutional contact information - listed in the ‘Contact’ section of the guide.  

Take a few moments to review the following FAQs that provide more detailed information about the changes coming and features of the new Odesi site. If you have any additional questions, comments, or concerns, send us an email at odesi@scholarsportal.info.  

What is Odesi?   

Odesi is a Canadian social science data repository and online data exploration and analysis tool. Odesi contains thousands of datasets, including survey microdata, public opinion polls, administrative data, summary data, and relevant documentation. Users can search across data collections, as well as filter, explore, tabulate, download, and subset datasets and variables. Datasets are curated and described by staff at Canadian academic libraries using the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) metadata standard.   

A unique partnership between university libraries, business, and government, Odesi greatly improves discovery and access to statistical surveys and public opinion data for use by researchers, teachers, and students.  

Why were these changes made?   

Previously, Odesi was supported by a back-end repository platform called Nesstar, which has reached end-of-life status. This migration to Borealis allows Scholars Portal (Odesi’s service provider) to continue providing Odesi as a service, and integrates new features which will support ongoing discovery, access, and preservation of data, contributing to Odesi’s overall sustainability moving forward.   

Borealis was selected as Nesstar’s replacement due to its support for critical functions such as a bilingual interface, collaborative workflows for data deposit, the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) standard metadata, DOIs for persistent data citation, and online data exploration and analysis.  

More information about the history of the migration project is available on the OCUL website.   

What will be different on the new site?   

The new Odesi site will appear visually different with a refreshed user interface. Screenshots are included in the updated User Guide and training materials to assist with navigating the interface changes.   

The Odesi.ca domain URL will not change. Currently, the new beta Odesi site can be previewed at beta.odesi.ca. However, when the site goes live on October 4, 2023, odesi.ca will be updated and refreshed to reflect Odesi’s new look and feel.   

Going forward, much of the data in Odesi will be open and accessible to all researchers, aligning with the FAIR Principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). This reflects OCUL and Odesi’s movement towards more open, inclusive, national data infrastructure, as well as an expanding service model that prioritizes sustainability and community collaboration.   

What features does the new Odesi offer?  

New features include:   

  • DataCite Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for Odesi datasets to improve discovery and standard citation.    
  • Enhanced searching and browsing features, including new search filters   
  • Options to explore survey questions and variables using Borealis Data Explorer and the Odesi search site. 
  • Options for data preview, subsetting, visualization, and analysis using Borealis Data Explorer. 
  • Ability to download files directly from the Odesi search site dataset landing pages.  

What will happen to the links that I have saved from the previous version of Odesi?   

Scholars Portal will be setting up a website URL redirect process for links from the previous Odesi site to the new site. Links that had an Odesi survey ID embedded will be redirected to the new site’s dataset landing pages.  

Previous Odesi Dataset URL Example 

This redirect process will be active for a period of six months, beginning October 4, 2023. After six months, these automatic redirects will cease, and you will need to update links for the new Odesi site

Odesi’s Nesstar Repository 

A static copy of Nesstar will remain available ‘as is’ for reference purposes for a period of six months post re-launch.  

How will Odesi institutional metrics be affected?   

Previously, Odesi subscribers had access to metrics that were relevant to their own institutions. With the new Odesi – and with more open data collections in Odesi – metrics are no longer available by institution. New open metrics reports for Odesi’s collections will be available on Borealis 

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.  

My institution would like to subscribe to Odesi. What is the subscription model for institutions outside of OCUL?    

OCUL is committed to ongoing support for data curation in Odesi, and this includes review of service and subscription models. OCUL is currently working on a revised Odesi service model. More information will be available soon. 

Who do I contact for help?   

For general help with Odesi or for questions about the Odesi re-launch, training materials, and the new site please send us an email at odesi@scholarsportal.info.   

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