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Deposit Process

You can deposit data to QDR by clicking the “New Project” button on QDR’s main catalog page and selecting “New Data Project.” We encourage you to initiate a data project early in the research process, even before you begin to collect data. We also suggest that you make an “Initial Deposit” of your data project to QDR – i.e., submit just the minimum required information about the project (without any data files). The earlier you engage with QDR, the more we can assist you, highlighting how to collect data in ways that maximize their shareability, reviewing your proposed data project, and offering feedback. Below we offer guidance on initiating a data project, and making initial and final deposits.

Initiating a Data Project

To begin to create a data project, click the “New Project” button on the main catalog page of QDR and provide the requested information. Starred fields are required in order for you to save your project. If you hover over a field name, a pop-up window will appear giving you more detail about the information that is being requested. You can use the “Note” field to provide information about potential constraints on sharing the data. QDR has guidance on sharing data under copyright and derived from interaction with human participants.

Saving Your Work

To save your work, click the “Save Data Project” button at the bottom of the New Data Project page. You can save the work you have done creating a data project at any time. The only fields that need to be filled out in order for you to save a data project are title, author/contact, description, and subject. You can also change the information included in all of these fields at any point before the data project is published by QDR. When you save a new data project for the first time, you will receive a notification e-mail that your project has been created with a link to the project.

Returning to Your Work

In order to continue working on a data project that you have already initiated, log into QDR and go to the QDR main catalog page. Click "Draft" in the facet on the left. This will show all data projects that you have started and that have not yet been published with a blue “Draft” as well as an orange “Unpublished” tag. When under review and/or curation by QDR, they also have a green “In Review” tag. Click on the data project on which you wish to work, then click on the “Edit” button at the top right, and then indicate if you want to edit metadata (i.e., information about the project) or work with the files that make up the data project.

Initial Deposit

The initial deposit of a data project for review by and consultation with QDR can take place at any stage in the research process.

To make an initial deposit, save the data project with at least the minimum required metadata, and without uploading any files. Then click the “Submit for Review” button at the top right. Your project is not published and viewable by other QDR users at this point; it is only viewable by QDR staff.


After you have made an Initial Deposit, QDR staff will contact you within 5 business days. If you do not hear from us within that time frame, please contact QDR to inquire about the status of your data project.

We try to schedule conversations (typically via Skype) with all depositors to discuss data organization, documentation, and any potential ethical or legal challenges that sharing your data may pose. If you believe some of your files may require access controls, please discuss this with QDR staff during your consultation so we can help you to identify appropriate access restrictions and requirements for specific files.

After QDR staff have completed their review of your project and spoken with you, you will receive a notification by e-mail and the “In Review” tag will disappear from the project.

From this point on, you can continue adding files and documentation to the project at your own pace. For instance, you might do so gradually, in a few large waves, or all at once when you are ready to publish your data project.

Uploading Files and Final Deposit

Uploading Files

You can upload data files by clicking on Edit → Files (Upload) at the top of the page displaying a saved data project. You can upload multiple files at once by dragging them to the QDR interface as indicated on the page. Please provide a brief but meaningful description of the content of every data file in its “description” field. For instance, the description of an interview transcript might include, “Transcript, interview conducted with a court official, May 21, 2014, Dodoma, Tanzania.” The more specific information you can provide the better. For publications, please provide full bibliographic information.

When you have uploaded all of the files that you want to deposit in association with the data project, if you wish to place access controls on any of the data files, select those files and select “Edit Files -> Restrict” on the right above the files.

Restrict file menu on QDR

QDR will place appropriate access controls on the files after consulting with you.

Providing further information about your project

Please fill out all of the metadata fields that are applicable to your data project. Hovering over the label of any field will produce a pop-up window with a brief description of the type of information that is being requested.

Hover over fields for more information in the QDR data catalog

You will likely not need to fill out every available field. If you are uncertain about any element, feel free to contact QDR. QDR staff will review, and if necessary curate, the information you entered in the metadata fields to conform to data cataloging standards.

You can save your work at any time by clicking on the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the screen. It is especially important that you click on the “Save Changes” button once you have uploaded all of a data project’s files.

When you are ready to submit your completed data project to QDR, click “Submit for Review.” QDR will perform a final review of your project and carry out any remaining curation tasks. If we make any changes at this point, we will give you the opportunity to review the data project again before it is published.

If no access restrictions are required for your data, you will sign a Standard Deposit Agreement. If some of your files require access controls, you will sign a Special Deposit Agreement describing the access conditions. Signing one of these agreements concludes the deposit process.

When QDR publishes your data project, you will receive a notification e-mail.

Updating Published Data Projects

You cannot make changes to a data project once it has been published. You can, however, release a new version of a data project that includes your desired changes. We recommend you contact QDR if you wish to do so. You can begin the process of releasing a new version by editing a published data project. Any changes to data files will show up as new major versions (2.0, 3.0, 4.0, etc.). Changes only to the project’s metadata will show up as minor version (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.).