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Why Should I Use Dataverse?


Dataverse is a publicly accessible data repository platform, open to affiliated researchers to deposit and share research data openly with anyone in the world. Dataverse is free to use, and is built with open-source software.


Visualize and explore data, all in your web browser. Explore summaries and visualizations of variables within a dataset on the Dataverse website. Dataverse Data Explorer supports common tabular data file formats that are used with Stata, SPSS, R, and Excel (xlsx and CSV).


Dataverse supports the creation of custom terms of use and restrictions in order to control access to your research data. Dataverse facilitates long-term access, persistent identifiers, and preservation by storing a backup copy for safekeeping.


Receive academic credit and recognition by making your data more discoverable to the research community online. Collaborate in teams and track changes as Dataverse provides increased user control over managing changes to a project.


  • Canadian Hosting

    Scholars Portal Dataverse is hosted completely on Canadian servers at the University of Toronto Libraries.

  • Visualization Tools

    The Data Explorer is available for tabular data files in Dataverse, so you can explore the full list of variables conveniently through your web browser without any extra software. You can search the list of variables, select specific variables to download, chart and compare selected multiple variables, and view summary statistics.

  • Persistent Identifiers

    To help increase the impact of your research, Dataverse assigns Digital Object Identifiers, or DOIs, provided by DataCite Canada to your research data. DOIs are persistent identifiers that allow research data to be accessible and citable. DOIs get indexed in DataCite Search, providing persistent links to data, and allows publications to easily reference affiliated data.

  • Discoverability

    Scholars Portal’s Dataverse feeds into the SHARE notification system to increase the discoverability of your public datasets. Dataverse also supports ORCID identifiers to link your data to your online scholarly record.

  • Bilingual

    Scholars Portal Dataverse is available in both English and French. Bilingual functionality means users can access Dataverse in their language of preference.

  • Institutional Dataverses

    Scholars Portal Dataverse is setup with Institutional Dataverses. With this faceted system, if your institution has other affiliated libraries or research institutions, they can also set up their own dataverse. This means that you can browse data from specific institutions, or view all datasets available.

Participating Institutions

The following institutions are participating in the Scholars Portal Dataverse service.

Use Cases

How Are Researchers Using Dataverse?

Agri-Environmental Research Data

Agricultural and environmental data

Angus Reid Institute

Research and Opinion Polls

Web Archives for Historical Research

Linking history and big data


Frequently Asked Questions

A Dataverse is a container for one or more Datasets or Dataverses. Each participating institution has a Dataverse that may contain multiple Dataverses and Datasets. A Dataset is a container for a particular research data set (this can include research data, code, and documentation).

This Dataverse instance is provided as a shared service of Scholars Portal on behalf of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) and other participating institutions. There is no direct cost to researchers or other users.

At this time, anyone can sign up for an account and deposit data with Dataverse. Institutions that use the service are provided with an Institutional Dataverse that is available for use by affiliated students, researchers, faculty, and staff.

We ask that you abide by the Scholars Portal Terms of Use when signing up for an account and using the platform.

Dataverse is ideal for depositing and sharing research data, and supports a variety of research data types and formats. You are welcome to upload research data, supplementary tables and documentation, publications associated with data, presentations, etc.

Dataverse supports the uploading of any file type, including shapefiles, images, Flexible Image Transport System files, and compressed files. However to make use of the Data Explorer feature, you need to upload tabular data files (e.g. Stata, SPSS, R, Excel (xlsx) and CSV).

To find out more about data downloading, uploading and file upload limits, see our complete user guide.

Dataverse allows you to upload and store backup copies of your research data in case your local copy is lost or destroyed. It is generally a good idea to keep a copy of your research data in Dataverse.

Any data uploaded to Scholars Portal Dataverse can be restricted to only authorized users. You can easily manage the restrictions of your Dataverse and datasets to be private, available to only certain IPs, to individual account(s), or to specific groups (see the Permissions sections of our user guide or the Advanced Dataverse User Guide for further information).

Security is in place to protect your data from others who wish to exploit or access data that they are not authorized to. Scholars Portal makes backup copies of the data you upload regularly in the event of a server or system malfunction, malicious attack, or other technical issue.

We encourage you to share data openly as a good scientific practice. Please do your due diligence and attempt to make the outputs of your research open for all to see and reuse.

Dataverse also supports groups of researchers who wish to upload and collaborate on a dataset or Dataverse together. This is useful for large projects with multiple researchers in different locations. For more information about how to use group permissions and assign account roles, see the Permission sections of our user guide or visit the Advanced Dataverse User Guide created by Harvard.

Researchers may choose to deposit their data in an institutional dataverse if they want to share their work with their institution (e.g. to facilitate collaboration, meet grant requirements, etc.).

The Scholars Portal root dataverse may be used to deposit data if researchers are not affiliated with one of the listed institution, if they are conducting personal research, or if the research being conducted is multi-institutional.

Dataverse automatically generates a standard data citation that can be used in any research publication, so you can easily be given credit. Users can download the citation in various formats by using the “Cite Data” button. The citation includes a persistent URL that will point people quickly and easily to your dataset in Dataverse.

Datasets will be assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) that conforms to the DataCite Canada service. All datasets published in Dataverse with a DOI will be automatically indexed in DataCite’s Global Search Service.

By default, any metadata about published data in Dataverse are harvestable by other Dataverses, repositories, global search engines, etc. Dataverse is regularly crawled by Google and all of the open metadata is indexed and searchable via the Google search service. The Dataverse platform supports open APIs and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) harvesting protocol (OAI-PMH), which allows published and public files to be harvested by other systems for the purposes of global data discovery.

Scholars Portal has been working with the Shared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE) and the Canadian Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) to integrate publicly released datasets into open web discovery services. The SHARE Notification System is a higher education-based initiative to strengthen efforts to identify, discover, and track research outputs. Its goal is to aggregate and make discoverable many types of research outputs (including data). Scholars Portal Dataverse was the first instance of a Dataverse feeding metadata into the SHARE Notification System. This does not affect the workflow for contributors to the Scholars Portal Dataverse.

In accordance with the Scholars Portal Dataverse Terms of Use, only data and metadata that have been publicly released are exposed to others through the programming interfaces and metadata harvesting application.

Since Dataverse is a service of your university library, you as the researcher, and in some cases your institution and/or collaborators retain control and ownership of the data. Scholars Portal Dataverse is hosted completely on Canadian servers in Toronto, ON, so there’s no question about jurisdiction or what laws apply.

Dataverse is integrated with the Open Science Framework (OSF), which provides cloud-based management for your projects, enabling you to keep all project files, data and protocols in one centralized location. The OSF can also be connected to several third-party storage services, including Dataverse. See the OSF Guide for further information. This feature is especially useful for collaborating with team members in remote areas.

Other integrations are listed here.

Contact us

Contact your university library for local assistance, or use the form below