DataUp

DataUp is a web application that assists researchers in managing their Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) and comma-seprated variable (.csv) files. It has four main functions:

  • checking the file for issues that might hamper long-term preservation and interpretability;
  • creating metadata for the whole file and columns within it;
  • assigning a persistent, unique identifier to the file;
  • uploading the file to a repository (currently either Merritt/ONEShare or Microsoft SkyDrive).

The application is primarily aimed at Earth Sciences researchers, which is apparent in the metadata it creates. Researchers in other fields may nevertheless find the application useful.

Provider

DataUp has so far been developed on a project basis by UC3 at the California Digital Library (with some involvement from the wider University of California), Microsoft Research, and DataONE.

Licensing and cost

The web application is free to use. The source code is published, and code contributions are welcomed, but the copyright status is unclear. (The version 1 code was released under the Apache 2.0 Licence.)

Apache2.0 license

One condition of the service is that researchers apply the CC0 waiver/licence to the files they upload to ONEShare.

Development Activity

The current web application is version 2 of DataUp, which launched in February 2014. The source code repository shows a modest amount of development is ongoing. It is unclear whether further development phases are planned, however, and for how long the service will be sustained.

Version 1 (now retired) also included an add-in for Microsoft Excel.

Platform and interoperability

As a web application, DataUp is platform agnostic. An API is available that allows other tools to use the service.

Users must log in using a Microsoft, Facebook or Google account.

DataUp is designed to interface with various repositories, though only CDL's Merritt system and Microsoft SkyDrive are currently supported. Registering identifiers is delegated to these downstream repositories, meaning that files uploaded to ONEShare (a Merritt instance) will be given an identifier via the EZID service.

Functional notes

There is no obligation to take data all the way through to deposit using the service. Uploaded files remain private in the user's DataUp account until they choose to archive them.

Documentation and user support

The DataUp website hosts an FAQ, user guide and administrator guide. Further technical documentation is promised.

The contact form on the website may be used to obtain support for using the application.

Usability

The application uses a Windows 8-style web interface.

Expertise required

No particular expertise is required to use the service.

Standards compliance

The application creates metadata using EML (Ecological Metadata Language).

Influence and take-up

The Excel add-in (now withdrawn) was downloaded over 600 times, and over 50 submission were made to ONEShare using DataUp version 1 (Strasser & Borda, 2014).

Last reviewed: 
30 April, 2014