Confused in Canada

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Ralph Bloch

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Mar 12, 2017, 10:39:14 AM3/12/17
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Dataverse sounds like a monumental project, but its jargon and legalese rattles my near octogenarian brain. So let me ask if Dataverse is for me:
I am a retired academic, and in my dotage spent over five years researching the history of a somewhat mythological Jewish community in southern Germany that had existed between 1600 and 1743. I published my findings on line as an integrated database/Wordpress-Commentpress book (https://Stuehlingen.online). Right now I am still able to maintain the website including its mySQL database. But I don't know for how long that will still be the case. It seems a pity that the collected data will perish with me. I have no major problem with placing the data in the public domain, except I am repulsed by the 'scientific' and commercial practice of For-Profit genealogical websites to mine public domain data, reassemble them uncritically and sell the resulting garbage.
Is it possible to deposit my data as suitably linked relational database in Dataverse, so it is available to the academic community, but is somewhat protected from unscrupulous commercial exploitation?

Philip Durbin

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Mar 12, 2017, 11:36:13 AM3/12/17
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Hi! Any research data can be uploaded to Dataverse, so I think it's a fine fit. The thing to keep in mind is that Dataverse is just software. The decision you need to make is *which* installation of Dataverse you'd like to upload your data to. Currently, there are three* installations of Dataverse around the world that are open for any researcher to upload data. They are:

- https://dataverse.harvard.edu
- https://dataverse.unc.edu
- https://dataverse.scholarsportal.info

We should probably list all three of these at http://dataverse.org/researchers because right now you'd need to click each of the 22 dots on the map to figure out which one allows anyone to upload data.

I hope this helps! Thanks for your interest in Dataverse!

Phil

* See also https://groups.google.com/d/msg/dataverse-community/HqnMk1RzNzo/UoHD1yEwAAAJ

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julian...@g.harvard.edu

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Mar 12, 2017, 12:07:19 PM3/12/17
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Is it possible to deposit my data as suitably linked relational database in Dataverse, so it is available to the academic community, but is somewhat protected from unscrupulous commercial exploitation?

In addition to uploading data in any file format and to a number of open repositories (data archives) using the Dataverse software, you can also upload data with custom terms of use instead of the default CC0 license Dataverse assigns to each deposit (this is detailed in the "Terms" sections of Dataverse's user guide). For example, you could use the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license you've used on your website.

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Julian Gautier
Product Research Specialist, IQSS

Sebastian Karcher

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Mar 12, 2017, 12:09:18 PM3/12/17
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Hi Ralph,

I'd be a bit more cautious about the fit here.
Looking at your site, it would at least not be trivial to get the same type of functionality for end users on a Dataverse, which is designed with more traditional scientific/social science data in mind. You could obviously upload the entire database file (but then any user would have to use dedicated database software to read it). You could also upload individual files and tag them (say with first names, family names, etc.), but this doesn't quite give you the flexibility of a relational database.  

If you do want to look at other options, one thing that comes to mind is Omeka, which is also open source software, developed at George Mason University, specifically with historical online exhibitions in mind. They host projects for free up to 500MB of storage: http://www.omeka.net/ The concern there might be that, other than data repositories such as the various Dataverses, their main focus is on exhibiting, not on longevity, so it might be that some years down the line they require some type of action on your part to keep your collection online. (I have no association at all with Omeka, but I have worked on other projects with the center at which it is developed).

So you're facing a bit of a trade-off here. I hope that's helpful (and the DV folks won't mind the more cautious note).

Have a good Sunday,
Sebastian




On Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 11:36 AM, Philip Durbin <philip...@harvard.edu> wrote:
Hi! Any research data can be uploaded to Dataverse, so I think it's a fine fit. The thing to keep in mind is that Dataverse is just software. The decision you need to make is *which* installation of Dataverse you'd like to upload your data to. Currently, there are three* installations of Dataverse around the world that are open for any researcher to upload data. They are:

- https://dataverse.harvard.edu
- https://dataverse.unc.edu
- https://dataverse.scholarsportal.info

We should probably list all three of these at http://dataverse.org/researchers because right now you'd need to click each of the 22 dots on the map to figure out which one allows anyone to upload data.

I hope this helps! Thanks for your interest in Dataverse!

Phil

* See also https://groups.google.com/d/msg/dataverse-community/HqnMk1RzNzo/UoHD1yEwAAAJ
On Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 10:39 AM, Ralph Bloch <papaw...@gmail.com> wrote:
Dataverse sounds like a monumental project, but its jargon and legalese rattles my near octogenarian brain. So let me ask if Dataverse is for me:
I am a retired academic, and in my dotage spent over five years researching the history of a somewhat mythological Jewish community in southern Germany that had existed between 1600 and 1743. I published my findings on line as an integrated database/Wordpress-Commentpress book (https://Stuehlingen.online). Right now I am still able to maintain the website including its mySQL database. But I don't know for how long that will still be the case. It seems a pity that the collected data will perish with me. I have no major problem with placing the data in the public domain, except I am repulsed by the 'scientific' and commercial practice of For-Profit genealogical websites to mine public domain data, reassemble them uncritically and sell the resulting garbage.
Is it possible to deposit my data as suitably linked relational database in Dataverse, so it is available to the academic community, but is somewhat protected from unscrupulous commercial exploitation?

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Sebastian Karcher, PhD
www.sebastiankarcher.com

Philip Durbin

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Mar 12, 2017, 12:41:50 PM3/12/17
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Yeah, Dataverse is about preservation, not necessarily about presentation, though we try, especially for tabular and geospatial data. :)

I agree that a SQL dump isn't super useful to someone who comes along in 50 years. Perhaps a standard format such as GEDCOM could be uploaded. (I barely know what I'm talking about but I've dabbled in genealogy.) Five years of effort is a lot. It would be nice to preserve it somewhere.

Ralph, maybe you could reach out to the three Dataverse installations I mentioned via the "Support" link on the top of the page and ask for advice on next steps. They'll probably want to know how big your dataset would be. Or like Sebastian mentioned, I'm sure there are other options out there.

Phil





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Sebastian Karcher, PhD
www.sebastiankarcher.com

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Ralph Bloch

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Mar 12, 2017, 2:46:30 PM3/12/17
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Thank you Phil and Sebastian for your thoughtful advice. The Omeka sounds like another interesting solution, but it would probably have been more appropriate to consider, when I looked for a publication platform initially. Now it probably wouldn't provide any advantage over my DIY presentation, except for better visibility among the Digital Humanities crowd. Google was all over my website within a day or two. So any search would reveal it. If I live for another five years, the user friendly UI won't matter any more, as long as the data find a searchable repository. GEDCOM is a great ASCII serialization for genealogical data. But Stühlingen contains quite a bit more data than only genealogical one. Much of it falls into the realm of social history. What I have learned from you two now is that I have to learn which Dataverse to pick (assuming I have a choice) and then convert the database into a reconstructible format, so a potential future user could then turn it back into a relational database of her choice.

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