The Scholars Portal Dataverse team is pleased to announce the completion of the development project “Dataverse for the Canadian Research Community,” funded by CANARIE’s program for Research Data Management software tools.
The 18-month project involved innovative development of the Dataverse platform to better support Canadian researchers around data deposit and sharing with national and international collaborations. The development work addressed key themes around data curation, authentication, scalability, and large-file support (described below).
The Data Curation Tool (DCT) allows users to create and edit variable-level metadata for tabular files (e.g., SPSS, R, Excel, CSV), as a modular application launched from within Dataverse. The aims of the DCT are to improve data curation workflows within Dataverse, to improve the ability for data reuse, and to support the application of standards and best practices using the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) metadata standard.
Other features include the ability to view summary statistics and charts about the data. User edits are saved back to Dataverse and can be exported outside the platform.
Special thanks to the University of Ottawa for the French translations.
Scholars Portal configured Dataverse to work with Shibboleth for institutional single sign-on through the Canadian Access Federation (CAF), an identity management service for Canadian research institutions run by CANARIE. Dataverse requires each user’s email, first name, last name, and affiliation, which are released under Research and Scholarship (R&S) entity profile.
The benefits of using the CAF's R&S include ease of collaboration between Dataverse as the service provider and institutions as the identity providers. CAF’s vetting process ensures secure and trustworthy exchange of identity information.
For Dataverse users, this integration results in a simpler log-in process with one less username and password to manage.
Scholars Portal connected Dataverse to cloud storage by hosting files in a test cluster of the Ontario Library Research Cloud (OLRC).
The aim is to optimize system architecture for scalable use and to leverage an existing, distributed Canadian data storage network.
Scholars Portal developed proof-of-concept integration with Globus as a large-file transfer mechanism. Dataverse users would run Globus Connect Personal (free software) and have a Globus account to upload/download files to/from Dataverse.
Our testing demonstrated robust transfers up to 100 GB in size and up to 38,000 files. We are continuing to collaborate and consult with the Harvard's IQSS Dataverse team to bring this proof-of-concept development work into the core code.
Thank you to CANARIE for the grant funding that made this project possible.
The development work was a collaborative effort by the Scholars Portal Team:
Special thanks for input and feedback: