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The Dataverse is an open source web application to share, preserve, cite, explore and analyze research data.
Function:Active Data Storage,Preservation System,Managing Active Research Data,Storage
Content type:Research Data


'Dataverse' is an open source (code is available on GitHub) web application to share, preserve, cite, explore and analyze research data. It facilitates making data available to others, and allows you to replicate others' work (see their About page). Researchers, data authors, publishers, data distributors, and affiliated institutions all receive appropriate credit via a data citation with a persistent identifier (DOI, or Handle).

A Dataverse repository hosts multiple dataverses (see diagram). Each dataverse contains dataset(s) or other dataverses, and each dataset contains descriptive metadata and data files (including documentation and code that accompany the data - see diagram).


Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University, along with many collaborators and contributors worldwide.

Licensing and cost[edit]

Apache 2 License – free.

Platform and interoperability[edit]

The Dataverse makes use of the following components: Java Server Faces; Enterprise Java Beans; PostgreSQL; Solr; and R and Zelig. Prerequisites for installation include Oracle JDK or OpenJDK, a “virgin” installation of Glassfish Version 4.1+, preferably as part of the NetBeans Web Development bundle, PostgreSQL Version 9.3+, and R. The software was designed to integrate reCAPTCHA, Google Analystics, ImageMagick, Shibboleth, and DOI registration via EZID if the installer so wishes. The Dataverse currently has multiple open APIs available, which allow for searching, depositing and accessing data.

Functional notes[edit]

Dataverses can be configured for multiple levels of access (at the dataverse, dataset and file level). Dataverse will accept any format, but will give full support to tabular data or fits file data (astronomy format). SPSS, STATA, R and csv are the preferred formats; data in these formats will be eligible for subsettable features, multiple formats for download, and a Universal Numerical Fingerprint (UNF). These files will be eligible for subsetting and pre-defined measurements. Dataverse has the capability to register DOIs from EZID, which allows the repository to assign persistent identifiers to data sets.

Documentation and user support[edit]

The website contains extensive software documentation, including user, installer, and developer guides.  A Users google group appears to be reasonably active, along with a specific support email address.


The Dataverse software provides a web-based interface for both administrators and users. The package includes an installer, which is run through the command line; basic install is designed to be very quick. Comfort with command-line interface and general systems knowledge appear to be crucial for configuration and installation of any add-ons.

Expertise required[edit]

To take full advantage of the archival management features in the software, users should have a firm grasp on the metadata expectations for their field.

Standards compliance[edit]

The software supports numerous metadata standards, including DDI, Dublin Core, Data Cite, Virtual Observatory (for astronomy), ISA-Tab (for biomedical). Each dataset is also given a data citation with a persistent global unique identifier that is in compliance with DataCite and the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles.

Influence and take-up[edit]

Current installations include

User Experiences[edit]

Development Activity[edit]

Version 4.0 was released in April 2015. The current version (in December 2015) is 4.2.2. The software is continually development, as revealed by an active issues tracking page.  The project is Harvard-sponsored, and appears to have support for the foreseeable future. All development activity is visible on GitHub:

Release Feed[edit]

Below the last 3 release feeds:

2021-04-14 00:53:15
[,2008:Repository/14051004/v5.4.1 v5.4.1]
by kcondon
2021-04-20 14:40:25
[,2008:Repository/14051004/v5.4 v5.4]
by kcondon
2020-12-18 21:51:18
[,2008:Repository/14051004/v5.3 v5.3]
by kcondon

Activity Feed[edit]

Below the last 5 commits:

2021-04-13 15:19:15
[,2008:Grit::Commit/80361bfa357c2e0cc64ce0c9d6c5c01013251cae Merge pull request #7796 from IQSS/develop]
by kcondon
2021-04-13 14:44:21
[,2008:Grit::Commit/473cde69816714a7db42a90343932abec4f118b9 Merge pull request #7795 from IQSS/7794_update_to_version_5_4_1]
by kcondon
2021-04-13 13:54:01
[,2008:Grit::Commit/148c132503498d36d8a40a3157909f039ce61bdc Update versions.rst]
by kcondon
2021-04-13 13:53:14
[,2008:Grit::Commit/19f287e8571bfb35f8c4629e4163740978a72252 Update]
by kcondon
2021-04-13 13:51:49
[,2008:Grit::Commit/a920ced03a15dcc6975bdea9aafbb0461d40f417 Update pom.xml]
by kcondon