View Studies / Download Data

Cataloging Information

When a study is created, a set of metadata is associated with that study. This metadata is called the Cataloging Information for the study. When you select a study to view it, you first see the Cataloging Information tab listing the metadata associated with that study. This is the default view of a study.

Cataloging Information contains numerous fields that help to describe the study. The amount of information you find for each study varies, based on what was entered by the author (Contributor) or Curator of that study. For example, one study might display the distributor, related material, and geographic coverage. Another study might display only the authors and the abstract. Every study includes the Citation Information fields in the Cataloging Information.

Note: A comprehensive list of all Cataloging Information fields is provided in the List of Metadata.

Cataloging Information is divided into four sections. These sections and their details are displayed only when the author (Contributor) or Curator provides the information when creating the study. Sections consist of the following:

  • Citation Information - These fields comprise the citation for the study, consisting of a global identifier for all studies and a UNF, or Universal Numerical Fingerprint, for studies that contain subsettable data files. It also can include information about authors, producers and distributors, and references to related studies or papers.
  • Abstract and Scope - This section describes the research study, lists the study's data sets, and defines the study's geographical scope.
  • Data Collection/Methodology - This section includes the technical details of how the author obtained the data.
  • Terms of Use - This information explains that the study requires users to accept a set of conditions or agreements before downloading or analyzing the data. If any Terms of Use text is displayed in the Cataloging Information section, you are prompted to accept the conditions when you click the download or analyze icons in the Files page.
    Note: A study might not contain Terms of Use, but in some cases the original parent dataverse might have set conditions for all studies owned by that dataverse. In that case, the conditions are inherited by the study and you must accept these conditions before downloading files or analyzing the data.

List of Study Files

When you view a study, click the Documentation, Data and Analysis tab to view a list of all electronic files associated with the study that were provided by the author or Curator.

A study might contain documentation, data, or other files. When the study contributor uploads data files of the type .dta.sav, or .por to the Network, those files are converted to .tab tab-delimited files. These .tab files are subsettable, and can be subsetted and analyzed online by using the Dataverse Network application.

Data files of the type .xml also are considered to be subsettable, and can be subsetted and analyzed to a minimal degree online. An .xml type file indicates social network data that complies with the GraphML file format.

You can identify a subsettable data file by the Subsetting label and the number of cases and variables listed next to the file name. Other files that also contain data might be associated with a study, but the Dataverse Network application does not recognize them as data (or subsettable) files.

Download Study Files

You can download any of the following within a study:

The default format for subsettable tabular data file downloads is tab-delimited. When you download one or more subsettable files in tab-delimited format, the file contains a header row. When you download one subsettable file, you can select from the following formats in addition to tab-delimited:

  • Original file
  • Splus
  • Stata
  • R

The default format for subsettable network data file downloads is Original file. In addition, you can choose to download network data files in GraphML format.

If you select any other format for a tabular data file, the file is downloaded in a zipped archive. You must unzip the archive to view or use the individual data file.

If you download all or a selection of data files within a study, the files are downloaded in a zipped archive, and the individual files are in tab-delimited or network format. You must unzip the archive to view or use the individual data files.

Note: Studies and data files often have user restrictions applied. If prompted to accept Terms of Use for a study or file, check the I Accept box and then click the Continue button to view or download the file.

User Comments

If the User Comment feature is enabled within a dataverse, users are able to add comments about a study within that dataverse.

When you view a study, click the User Comments tab to view all comments associated with the study. Comments can be monitored and abuse reported to the Network admin, who has permission to remove any comments deemed inappropriate. Note that the dataverse admin does not have permission to remove comments, to prevent bias.

If you choose, you also can add your own comments to a study from the User Comments tab. See Comment on Studies or Data for detailed information.

Note: To add a comment to a study, you must register and create an account in the dataverse that owns the study about which you choose to comment. This helps to prevent abuse and SPAM issues.


Upon creating a study, a version is created. This is a way to archive the metadata and data files associated with the study citation or UNF.

View Citations

You can view a formatted citation for any of the following entities within the Dataverse Network application:

  • Studies - For every study, you can view a citation for that study.
    Go to the Cataloging Information tab for a study and view the How to Citefield.
  • Data sets - For any data set, you can view a citation for that set.
    Go to the Documentation, Data and Analysis tab for a study to see the list of study files. To view the citation for any data set click the View Data Citationlink associated with that subsettable file.
  • Data subsets - If you subset and analyze a data set, you can view a citation for each subset.
    See Apply Descriptive Statistics or Perform Advanced Analysis for detailed information.
    Also, when you download a workspace file, a copy of the citation information for that subset is provided in the download.

Note: For individual variables within a subsettable data subset, you can view the UNF for that variable. This is not a full citation for the variable, but it is one component of that citation. Note also that this does not apply to .xml data.