Dear Dataverse Community,
Several years ago, we registered the Dataverse trademark. This was to ensure that when someone was referring to Dataverse, they’d be referring to:
“Computer software used in connection with research data archival services for analyzing, citing, archiving, transforming, subsetting, preserving, sharing, accessing, searching, retrieving, downloading and managing electronic research data.”
To keep ensuring that Dataverse will always mean what’s defined above and to protect the existing trademark, we need to make some changes about how we use the term “Dataverse.” If we are not specific about using the term and applying “Dataverse” to too many things, we may run into undesirable outcomes. The changes that we need to make are to:
Use “Dataverse” as an adjective, not as a noun.
Capitalize the term “Dataverse” whenever it is used in the text.
Use “Dataverse installation” or “Dataverse repository” when referring to cases where an institution has downloaded the Dataverse software and installed it locally.
Use “Dataverse collection” when referring to a grouping of datasets within a Dataverse repository (instead of using lower case "dataverse"). Examples are “journal Dataverse collection,” “AJPS Dataverse collection,” and “Gary King Dataverse collection.” If there is one Dataverse collection that is a child of another Dataverse collection, it can be called a Dataverse sub-collection or child Dataverse collection.
Use “Dataverse software” when referring to the downloadable code and packages hosted in GitHub or when someone is making a pull request. An example is “a PR against the develop branch of the Dataverse software.”
This applies to Dataverse Project websites, the Dataverse Project Guides, the Dataverse software itself, and other communications. Those watching https://dataverse.org closely have already seen the changes take place. https://guides.dataverse.org is next, and we’ll soon start making changes to the Dataverse software itself.
I understand that these are significant changes, and I appreciate the effort that it will take from all of us to get these changes into place. Legalities aside, I’m hopeful that this provides us an opportunity to provide clearer messaging and better support across the Dataverse Community. We will continue updating you of any additional trademark related changes as we learn more about the next steps.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you on behalf of the Dataverse Project Team,
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