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Scholars Portal Dataverse Guide

Finding Data

Users do not need to log in to Dataverse to browse, search for or view published dataverses, datasets, and files. To view an
unpublished one, however, a user will need to be given permission from that dataverse's administrator to access it.

Users are able to search for dataverses, datasets and files within a particular dataverse by using the search box found on that dataverse's page. 

For example, if you use the search box on the Lakehead University Dataverse page, you will limit your search to the item's deposited within that particular dataverse.

Browsing Dataverse

In Dataverse, browsing occurs when a user hasn’t entered a search term or query into the basic search bar. Browsing is the
default for a user when they are on the Dataverse homepage or a specific dataverse’s page. When browsing, only dataverses 
and datasets appear in the results list, and the results can be sorted by Name (A-Z or Z-A) and by Newest or Oldest.

Basic Search

From the Dataverse homepage (or from any institutional Dataverse homepage), you can begin searching with an exact phrase
search or entering a search term or query in the search box that says "Search this dataverse

Use the provided list of facets to narrow your search by file type, subject, keyword, etc. Use the “Sort” button to sort search results by name (A-Z or Z-A), newest or oldest, or relevancy of results


Advanced SearchYou can access the Advanced Search option by clicking "Advanced Search" next to the general search box.


In an advanced search, you can refine your criteria by choosing which Metadata fields to search. You can perform an
advanced search using citation metadata fields or
 domain specific metadata fields, or search for dataverses, datasets
 and files
The advanced search screen gives you the ability to enter search terms for:

  • Dataverses (including include name, affiliation, description and subject)
  • Dataset (citation metadata including title, author name, keyword, and dataset persistent ID)
  • file-level metadata (name, description, and variable name and label)

See Finding and Using Information in the Advanced User Guide for more information on searching for data, files, and
datasets within Dataverse.

Search Tips

  • Search using words that will likely appear in any metadata record you might be interested in. For example, if you
    are interested in air pollution, you might search for "ozone" or "carbon dioxide". 
  • Note that you will only retrieve results of metadata records that have been released; unreleased (or deaccessioned)
    records will be invisible to the public. 
  • Although an author may release a record in Dataverse, they may restrict access to the record and its files; in this
    case, a lock icon 
    will appear adjacent to the study in the results list.
  • Advanced Search fields correspond to DDI fields in metadata records (and follow those definitions). See the
    Terminology section
    for an overview of metadata definitions and Metadata for more information on the metadata used within Dataverse.
  • When your search is complete, the results page lists studies that met the search criteria in order of relevance. For
    example, a study that includes your search term within the Cataloging Information in ten places appears before a
    study that includes your search term in the Cataloging Information in only one place.
  • You can sort search results by title, study ID, last updated, or number of downloads.

Viewing, Downloading and Citing Data

After performing a search and finding the dataverse or dataset you are looking for, click on the name of the dataverse or
dataset or on the thumbnail image to be taken to the page for that dataverse or dataset.

Once on a dataverse page, you can view the dataverses, datasets, and files within that dataverse.

Use the “Email” button to email the dataset contact. The dataset page will provide you with the title, citation, description, files, file metadata, and version information for the dataset.

Use the “Download” button to download one, several, or all files in one of the following formats: Original File Format  Tab Delimited Format  Variable Metadata  Data File Citation (EndNote XML, RIS Format, or BibTeX Format) Subset (options appear depending on file format)

The “Cite Data” button allows users to download the citation in EndNote XML, RIS Format, or BibTeX Format.

Using the Data Explorer

Files in certain formats - Stata, SPSS, R, Excel(xlsx) and CSV - may be ingested as tabular data. Tabular data format allows
users to visualize and explore data using the Data Explorer function of Dataverse, as well as with TwoRavens - a statistical data exploration application integrated with Dataverse.

If the file is available as tabular data, the "Explore" button will be visible next to the file in the dataset (see image below for an example).

Use the “Explore” button to investigate variables from the dataset.

Select variables of interest individually or by clicking on “Select All”. Tip:  Click on “Download All” and select a format if you would like to download all the variables OR Click on the “Download My Variables” button to download only the variables you have selected

You can also create visual representations of the selected variables by clicking on the “Chart My Variables” button.

This generates a visualization of the variables selected, which you are now able to explore.