R06. Expert Guidance

From the CTS application:
The repository adopts mechanism(s) to secure ongoing expert guidance and feedback (either inhouse, or external, including scientific guidance, if relevant).

The Dataverse community’s open source and transparent culture encourages the sharing of administrative and technical expertise, which can supplement the expertise of collection support staff, using multiple communication channels, including a public Dataverse Community forum on Google Groups, a public GitHub issues tracker, a public IRC channel, and Dataverse conferences, including the annual Dataverse Community Meeting.

Collection support staff of Dataverse repositories join a free and growing informal network of communities who use the Dataverse software and contribute data management expertise and development resources to improve the software. Members of the community can also become paying members of the Global Dataverse Community Consortium, which aims to provide a collaborative venue for institutions to leverage economies of scale in support of Dataverse  repositories around the world.

Answers from successful applicants

Tilburg University Dataverse collection:

Within the university, the RDO holds close contact with the university’s faculties, policy staff, legal department and privacy officer. The RDO staff has regular meetings with the university’s legal advisors and privacy officer who are both linked to the RDO as advisors. The head of the department under which the RDO operates has regular meetings with the faculties’ research policy coordinators. A systematic meeting with the RDO, the head of the department under which the RDO operates and the faculties’ Research Ethics Committees is planned to be initiated as of the end of 2017. The goal of this organ is to form a bridge between the national developments in data archiving and management and the local needs for services in this field, but also to reflect upon the services at the RDO. Meetings for consultation on research data management related issues are already taking place.

In addition, the RDO staff participate in regular meetings organized by the Dutch universities’ libraries, keeping close contact with the repository staff at other universities in the Netherlands. Also the staff at DANS and CentERdata are consulted for external advice.


From its inception QDR has sought out and received advice from information and data science experts and its designated community of social scientists and other researchers. QDR has two advisory boards:

The Technical Advisory Board, whose members are specialists from libraries and data repositories, advises QDR on technical questions including development, curation, and digital preservation.
The Research Advisory Board, whose members are leading social scientists, assures that QDR serves the interests of its main constituency, practicing social scientists.

Each of these boards meets twice a year via teleconference. QDR also reports to both boards at the end of each quarter and solicits advice and feedback. For specific questions or major decisions, QDR seeks out the advice of board members individually.

In addition QDR regularly presents on its work at international conferences and workshops (see R5). To gain additional insights, QDR also organizes workshops convening diverse groups of international experts to focus on key concerns of archiving and curating qualitative social science data. Recent workshops have addressed archiving copyrighted material, sharing sensitive materials from research involving human participants, and curating data from computer assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS) software popular with social scientists.

Finally, QDR personnel regularly teach data management to researchers, both in seminars and in individual consultations. These conversations serve as a constant check that the services offered address the needs and concerns of the repository’s designated user community.

Advisory boards: https://qdr.syr.edu/about/governance


4 – The guideline has been fully implemented in the repository

DataverseNO has infrastructure and procedures in place to secure the continuous advice and feedback of experts in the fields relevant for the proper and sustainable operation of the repository in compliance with standards and best practice recommendation for research data management, both in general and, where applicable, within the different scholarly disciplines represented in DataverseNO.

In-house expertise
As discussed in R0 and R5, the DataverseNO repository and the data deposited into the repository are managed and curated by permanent Research Data Service staff at the DataverseNO owner institution and at the DataverseNO partner institutions. These institutions have the range and depth of expertise necessary to ensure compliance with the DataverseNO policies and guidelines, and to take care of the interests of the Designated Community of the repository.

Although the mission of DataverseNO – with the possible exception of special collections – is to be a national GENERIC repository for open research data the repository strives to provide subject-specific expertise as far as possible; see R6, R8, and R11. This is why, as a main rule, data deposited into institutional collections or into the top-level collection of DataverseNO are curated by Research Data Service staff who are subject specialists in addition to be trained in research data management. Special collections of DataverseNO are without exception managed and curated by permanent Research Data Service staff who are subject specialists.

In addition to the training activities provided by UiT The Arctic University as well as at the different partner institutions, the collections managers use the DataverseNO Advisory Committee, and the data curators use their network of expertise, to share, keep up to date, and align their expertise.

Through its network of participating and collaborating institutions, DataverseNO has access to a pool of experts in the field of research data management. Participating institutions in DataverseNO are all research institutions, hosting a wide range of experts including the full range of academic subjects represented in DataverseNO, IT experts from the IT departments, as well as legal experts from the institutions’ administrative departments. All participating institutions in DataverseNO are organized in faculties and institutes which have their own boards that advise and decide on important and strategic matters relevant for the operation of these organizational units, as well as for the research communities that are part of these units. Since the institutional collections of DataverseNO are part of the organizational structure of the Dataverse partner institutions the feedback and expertise from these bodies are integrated directly into the DataverseNO-internal flow of communication and network of expertise, with the collection managers as the main liaison.

A special collection is established at a DataverseNO partner institution with research expertise within the field of study at stake, on request from a user group. In the unlikely case that the field of study is closed down at the institution, the responsibility for the collection is transferred to another DataverseNO partner institution with the relevant expertise. If this is not possible, the data in the collection are transferred to another subject-relevant repository (preferably) or a generic repository. See also section Continuity in R3.

External expertise
DataverseNO and its partner institutions also have access to advice from external experts, both nationally and internationally.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway (owner of DataverseNO) as well as all other DataverseNO partner institutions are collaborating with the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD), especially on the management of personal data [1]. Research Data Service staff managing collections and curating datasets in the DataverseNO repository confer with experts at NSD in case they need special advice on issues regarding personal data.

Several Research Data Service staff members at UiT The Arctic University of Norway (owner of DataverseNO) and other DataverseNO partner institutions participate in and contribute to several interest and working groups of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) [2]. Examples are the Libraries for Research Data IG (member), the Data Citation WG (member), the Linguistics Data IG (co-initiator), and the DMP Common Standards WG (member). Through the extensive RDA network, DataverseNO managers and curators have access to expertise covering essentially all topics within research data management. Several of the participating institutions in DataverseNO are also represented in the recently established national RDA group for Norway [3]. One of the main goals of this group is the coordination and collaboration in matters of Research Data Management in Norway.

As the owner of DataverseNO, UiT The Arctic University of Norway has access to expertise from DataCite [4] in questions concerning citation metadata compliance.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway (owner of DataverseNO) is participating and contributing to the global Dataverse User Community. The community has recently been formally organized in the Global Dataverse Community Consortium [5], which aims at providing a collaborative venue for institutions to leverage economies of scale in support of Dataverse repositories around the world.

Collections within DataverseNO may establish their own advisory boards. This has been done for TROLLing [6]. The members of the TROLLing Scientific Advisory Board contribute with top-level scientific expertise to the operation and development of TROLLing. TROLLing is also participating in CLARIN - European Research Infrastructure for Language Resources and Technology [7]. Being part of CLARIN, UiT The Arctic University of Norway (owner of DataverseNO) is together with a number of European key stakeholders participating in the Social Sciences & Humanities Open Cloud (SSHOC), the SSH part of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) [8]. Through the EOSC network, not only TROLLing, but the entire DataverseNO repository, has access to top-level expertise in providing research data management services to all of its Designated Community.

Although, as mentioned initially, DataverseNO – apart from special collections (currently TROLLing) – is a national GENERIC repository for open research data the repository strives to provide subject-specific expertise as far as possible. Therefore, access to top-level scientific expertise in DataverseNO is not restricted to the field of Linguistics as described in the previous section. In addition to the in-house scientific expertise described in the section “In-house expertise” above DataverseNO has through its participating institutions access to national expertise in all the scholarly subjects represented at all higher education and research institutions in Norway. All these institutions – including all participating institutions in DataverseNO – are members of Universities Norway/Universitets- og høgskolerådet (UHR), which is a cooperative body for 33 accredited universities and university colleges in Norway [9]. UHR works with research and higher education policy and coordination within the university and college sector, both at the national and international level.

Communication with experts for advice
Our preferred form of communication with the experts mentioned above is through direct contact, e.g. by email, at on-line or personal meetings or through on-line community fora. UiT The Arctic University (owner of DataverseNO) assists all DataverseNO partner institutions in keeping up to date on relevant changes and enhancements in the field of Research Data Management.

Communication with Designated Community
The infrastructure and procedures that DataverseNO uses to communicate with its Designated Community for feedback are discussed in the section “Brief Description of the Repository’s Designated Community” in R0.

[1] Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD): http://www.nsd.uib.no/nsd/english/index.html
[2] Research Data Alliance: https://www.rd-alliance.org/
[3] RDA Group Norway: https://rd-alliance.org/groups/rda-norway
[4] DataCite: https://www.datacite.org/
[5] The Global Dataverse Community Consortium: http://dataversecommunity.global/
[6] TROLLing Scientific Advisory Board: https://site.uit.no/trolling/people/
[7] CLARIN - European Research Infrastructure for Language Resources and Technology: https://www.clarin.eu
[8] Social Sciences & Humanities Open Cloud (SSHOC): https://www.sshopencloud.eu/
[9] Universities Norway/Universitets- og høgskolerådet (UHR): https://www.uhr.no/en/