06 March 2012
Depositing and reusing data
KUBIS Dataverse Network is a cross-disciplinary repository service for digital primary data, at the University of Copenhagen. There is a growing amount of interest in this service by the University’s researchers. It has two aims: as a back-up service and as a way to share and reuse data.
The clear need for a service
The service arose as a result of a research survey, "Report of a qualitative study of social sciences collection, use and sharing of primary data" (in Danish) which concluded that there is an urgent need for the safe keeping of research data and for a service to tackle the challenges of a range of heterogeneous data types. Another issue that was raised was a requirement for researchers to be able to control and access their own data. A web interface provides a personalised service. Each researcher/group can create their own Dataverse in the KUBIS Dataverse Network and can store and process the data, and if they choose to share data. Version history of files are retained by the system.
Some technical details
The open source application been developed by The Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. Each study in the KUBIS Dataverse Network gets a persistent identifier (handle) for ease and accuracy of citation, at study and file level. Each researcher can create a dataverse in which limitless amounts of files are accepted, which can be sub-grouped and assigned a handle. The KUBIS Dataverse Network has 256 bit encryption to secure its data. In terms of file formats accepted, the system accepts any files that are ingested, there is no restriction. SPSS file formats are converted to TAB. In terms of metadata, when uploading a file, the user will be asked to fill in metadata for that file, which increases the possibility of reusing data at a later stage by the same researcher, or others to whom permission has been granted. These metadata are typically filled in at the study-level, so the amount of metadata one has to fill in for individual files is very limited.
Reuse of data - cross-institutional collaboration
An associated initiative, and an example of how the wish to reuse and share data is driven by researchers, is the University of Copenhagen’s Research@KUBIS service. Using KUBIS Dataverse as a component, this tools allows a range of collaborative researchers (not necessarily affiliated with the same university) to share a project website and reuse and promote their data (and publications) therein. A concrete example is the international Shkarat Msaied Neolithic Project which provides a collaborative database of research output (results, photos, diaries etc). This framework could be used by further research groups within the University. The service also assists in finding relevant repositories for their publications, linking to the full-text from their project page.
Popularity of KUBIS
Staff are working with researchers to promote the service and grow deposit numbers. Clearly the ability to work collaboratively and share data provides incentives for good data management and reuse, and an increasing number of researchers are interested in using the repository.
Contact: Forskerservice at kb.dk