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LibraData User Guide

UVa's Local Instance of the Dataverse Software

Glossary of Terms


A dataset in the Dataverse software is a container for your data, documentation, code, and other products of research and the metadata describing this Dataset. For more information on creating datasets, see the sections underDataset + File Management.

dataset diagram

Dataverse Collections

A dataverse collection is a container for datasets (research data, code, documentation, and metadata) and other dataverse collections, which can be setup for individual researchers, departments, journals and organizations. LibraData users cannot create dataverse collections on their own, but must submit a request. If your department, lab, or center would like a dataverse collection added, please email

dataverse collection diagram

Dates in LibraData

Data Creation Date: Date when the data collection or other materials were produced (NOT distributed, published or deposited).

Deposit Date: Current Date: The Date that the Dataset was deposited into THIS repository. Set automatically on dataset creation.

Date of Collection: Contains the date(s) when the data were collected.

Date of Description: In cases where a Dataset contains more than one description (for example, one might be supplied by the data producer and another prepared by the data repository where the data are deposited), the date attribute is used to distinguish between the two descriptions. The date attribute follows the ISO convention of YYYY-MM-DD. Usually not needed at Uva - YYYY-MM-DD

Distribution Date: Date that the work was made available for distribution/presentation.

Time Period Covered: Time period to which the data refer. This item reflects the time period covered by the data, not the dates of coding or making documents machine-readable or the dates the data were collected. Also known as span.

Metadata in Dataverse

For details on metadata fields and schemas see the section Metadata Reference.

Citation Metadata: any metadata that would be needed for generating a data citation and other general metadata that could be applied to any dataset. Also known as Citation Information or Cataloging Information.

Domain specific Metadata: When creating a dataset, you can choose domain specific metadata (if the administrator has activated the domain specific metadata) to describe special datasets, currently Dataverse supports metadata for Social Science, Life Science, Geospatial, and Astronomy datasets. Please contact, if you need domain specific metadata. We will create a new dataverse collection for you.

File-level Metadata: When uploading files, you can give each file a description and a tag. You can also change the filename that displays.

Glossary of Icons and Symbols

Email - Envelope Icon

Appears on Dataverse collection pages, the email goes to UVA LibraData Support (

Plus sign

      The plus sign displays in metadata for fields that are repeatable.


       Metadata fields that are required have an asterisk next to the field name.

Question Marks

Display labels for various Dataverse Repository labels and metadata fields. Gives you detailed information, when your cursor hovers over this Question Mark symbol.

Dataverse & Dataset Symbols

When looking at search results, you will find the following symbols:

Dataverse collection symbol - Dataverse collections display this symbol enclosed in a “red” box.
Dataset symbol - Datasets display this symbol enclosed in a “blue” box.
Linked Dataset - Datasets that are linked from another local dataverse collection display this symbol. Linked datasets can be found when searching either of the dataverse collections (one published in and one that it is linked to).
Harvested Dataset - Metadata records that have been harvested from other Dataverse Repositories, such as Harvard, Odum Institute, plus others. Harvested metadata records are searchable as other records in LibraData. Clicking on a harvested dataset takes the user to the original repository.


File Symbols

On the dataset page, all files have the Access File symbol Clicking the Access File symbol you can download the file (and if applicable other formats), download the metadata - file citation and/or variable metadata, or explore the file with installed previewers for the following filetypes: ASCII Text (txt, html), audio (mp3, wav, ogg), image (gif, jpeg, png), pdf, video (mp4, ogg, quicktime), csv, tsv, stata syntax, and r syntax.

The File Option symbol appears on all dataset pages that you either own or have permission to edit.

  • On the dataset page, the file options (to modify a file) are: edit metadata, restrict files, replace a file, embargo a file, or delete a file.
  • On the add new (upload) files box, the file options with this symbol are to add/edit the “Provenance” and/or “tags”.

Sharing Datasets

To share a dataset on your favorite social media networks. Click the “share” icon (seen above). You can only share datasets that have been published. You can share on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn by clicking on the following icons respectively. 


Publish Datasets

When you publish a dataset, you make it available to the public so that other users can browse or search for it. Note: UVA depositors MUST acknowledge the following before a dataset can be published:

  1. You have the legal right and authorization to make the data publicly available online world-wide through Libra.
  2. In preparing the data for public archiving and distribution, you have removed any confidential or sensitive information, student education records protected under FERPA, and all information that personally identifies any individual or that contains any information classified as highly sensitive under state or federal law, or UVA policy.
  3. If the submission is based upon work that has been sponsored or supported by an agency or organization other than UVA such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, or a private sponsor or funder, you represent that you have fulfilled any right of review, confidentiality, or other obligations required by that contract or agreement.
  4. You represent that you have made a reasonable effort to ensure that the data contained in your submission is accurate.
  5. You represent that you have appropriately acknowledged other researchers whose work contributed to the data.

Tabular Data Ingest

Files in certain formats - Stata, SPSS, R, and CSV - may be ingested as tabular data. 

If the dataverse software considers your file “tabular” it will try to convert the raw data content extracted from such files in plain text, TAB-delimited files. If there is a problem, your files will still be uploaded, but you will see the following icon next to those files.

Hovering over the warning icon displays detailed information, such as:

Once the dataset is published, this symbol is not seen by the public. The owner of the data file will still see the icon. On download of an ingested file, the user can choose either to download the tabular file or the format of the original file.