Data Submission and Discussion

This manual desdribes how to submit a dataset and how the discussion process works.

Data submission

Following registration with Discuss Data and creating a User Profile (see ‘Best Practices: Roles and Communication’), Registered Users are encouraged to prepare their Data Collection according to the technical and formal requirements of Discuss Data and collect all the information and permissions / licenses necessary. After completion, Registered Users can upload their Data Collection to a restricted area of Discuss Data for the pre-publishing preparation process.

Data preparation

Within the stage of data preparation, Registered Users are able to upload Data Collections and the respective Metadata and Documentation of Data Collection using web-based forms. At this stage, Data Collections are restricted to the Data Depositor, the Discuss Data project team and the responsible Curator(s), as well as potential guests invited by the Data Depositor.

In this restricted area of Discuss Data, Registered Users will be able to prepare the Data Collection following the guidelines and requirements stipulated in the ‘General Terms and Condition of Use’ and ‘Data Submission Agreement’ of Discuss Data. This requires:

  • Upload the data files;
  • Provide the FSO with scans of the necessary documents related to the legal and ethical issues (e.g., copyright agreements, scans of consent forms);
  • Fill in the online form for the Metadata;
  • Fill in the online form for the Documentation of Data Collection and, in addition, upload it as a MS Word document;
  • Accept the Data Submission Agreement with the FSO.

Simultaneously, the Discuss Data team and/or the responsible Curator(s) aim to have a first, basic formal evaluation of the Data Collection; however, they will not perform an in-depth analysis of the Data Collection. The Discuss Data team will check if the Data Collection is in concordance with the Discuss Data guidelines in respect to:

  • Content: Does the Data Collection fit into the chosen categories and the scope of Discuss Data?
  • Licence: What are possible restrictions of the use of the Data Collection established by the Data Depositor?
  • Metadata: Are the necessary Metadata information correctly provided, are correct tags, keywords and topics used?
  • File formats: Are the files free of viruses, readable and in formats marked as Discuss Data compatible? Could additional alternative open formats be provided (e.g. XML, CSV)?
  • Language: Are the necessary information about the Data Collection (i.e., Metadata, Documentation of Data Collection) provided in proper English and easily understandable for other Users?
  • Documentation of Data Collection: Are the context and the methodology / methods used to obtain the data described according to Discuss Data guidelines ‘Best Practices: Documentation of Data Collection’?

Additionally, the Data Depositor has the option to request support from the Discuss Data team. If necessary, the Discuss Data team and/or the responsible Curator(s) will resolve open issues in communication with the Data Depositor.

At any point of the data preparation process Data Depositors are free to abort. If they decide to remove the Unpublished Data Collection, all materials provided by the Registered Users will be deleted. When Data Depositors have finished the preparation of the data, they will be able to publish the Data Collection.

Data publication

The Discuss Data team and the responsible Curator(s) will be automatically notified about Data Collections finalized for publishing. If the respective Data Collection is in concordance with the Discuss Data guidelines, it will be published and made accessible to others in accordance with the access and licence type specified by the Data Depositor. The Data Depositors can choose from three access modi: a) open access, b) restricted acess, and c) no access (metada only). Also, data owners can chose between several different licences types that define the copyright status and usage for downloaders of the data collection.

For scientific citation, Discuss Data will assign a digital object identifier (DOI) (provided by the project partner DARIAH-DE) to each Data Collection.

The Data Depositor will be notified about the successful publication. Registered Users who follow certain users, datasets or keywords will be notified about the publication of the Data Collection according to their notification settings.

Data Discussion

Discuss Data aims to, but is in no way obliged to, apply a discussion process to all Data Collections after they are made available on the Platform. A discussion process will only be conducted for Data Collections that are archived at the Platform, but not for Data Collections that are stored at third-party online platforms (such as the Harvard Dataverse).

The discussion process will be organised by the responsible Curator(s). S/He approaches potential Discussants and choses one or two. Discuss Data aims to engage Discussants who share the same epistemological views and methodological preferences as the respective Data Depositors. The Data Depositor has the opportunity to suggest up to three potential Discussants from whom the Curator(s) can chose one of the two Discussants for the Data Collection in question. The discussion process should be conducted in a timely fashion.

All comments by the Discussants should follow some common criteria. On the basis of the Data Collection and a detailed Documentation of the Data Collection process (see ‘Best Practices: Documentation of Data Collection’), the Discussants should touch upon the aspects of:

  • Methodology of Data Collection: handling of empirical challenges such as sampling (in the case of interviews and surveys), validity of the provided data, reliability of sources which provided the data;
  • Completeness of the Data Collection;
  • Applicability of the Data Collection for the research question of the Data Depositor;
  • Applicability of the Data Collection for further purposes (e.g., secondary analysis: what can be done with this Data Collection?); and
  • Possible problems regarding copyright and data dissemination.

Discussion comments should contain a brief summary with the basic information about the Data Collection and recommendations for the Data Depositor to improve the data set and/or its Documentation of Data Collection (if possible) which will be posted alongside the respective Data Collection.

Communication between Discussants and Data Providers

The discussion process in Discuss Data is meant to foster discussion, learning, and improvement of the uploaded data sets. The Curator acts as the link/liaison between the Discussant and the Data Depositor in order to reduce possible tensions. Discussions about possible improvements of Data Collections between Discussants and Data Depositors can be joined by other Registered Users via the “comment” function.

Possible improvements resulting from the recommendations of the reviewers will be uploaded and marked as a new version of the Data Collection, while the DOI stays the same.

In order not to offend other users, it’s important to maintain an open, friendly and respectful dialogue. Please adhere to the guidelines in our netiquette [LINK].

Data Citation

Published Data Collections will always receive a DOI and presented in a standard citation format (see ‘Best Practices: Data Citation’). The citation will be generated from the Metadata provided and presented in at least two common citation styles as text and in machine-readable formats for Citavi, Zotero, and Bibtex and as HTML meta tags.