It’s been over a year since the DataUp tool went live, and we figure it’s time for an update. I’m co-writing this blog post with Susan Borda from UC Merced, who joined the UC3 DataUp project a few months ago.

DataUp Version 1

We went live with the DataUp tool in November 2012. Since then, more than 600 people have downloaded the add-in for Excel, and countless others have accessed the web application. We have had more than 50 submissions of datasets to the ONEShare Repository via DataUp, and many more inquiries about using the free repository. Although the DataUp tool was considered a success by many measures, we recognized that it had even more potential for improvement and expanded features (see our list of suggested improvements and fixes on BitBucket).

"Going Up". From Flickr by vsai

“Going Up”. From Flickr by vsai

Unfortunately, development on DataUp stopped once we went live. The typical reasons apply here – lack of staff and resources to devote to the project. We therefore partnered with DataONE and requested funds from the National Science Foundation to continue work on the tool (full text of the grant available on eScholarship). Shortly after receiving notice that we received the requested grant, the UC3 team met with Microsoft Research, our original partners on DataUp. We discovered that our interests were still aligned, and that Microsoft had been using in-house resources to continue work on DataUp as an internal project titled “Sequim”. Rather than work in parallel, we decided to join forces and work on DataUp Version 2 (see more below).

In the interim, we published our work on DataUp Version 1 at F1000Research, an open access journal that focuses on rapid dissemination of results and open peer review. In this publication, we describe the project background, requirements gathering including researcher surveys, and a description of the tool’s implementation.

DataUp Version 2

The NSF grant allowed us to hire Susan Borda, a librarian at UC Merced with a background in IT and knowledge of the DataUp project. She has been serving as the project manager for DataUp Version 2, and has liaised with Microsoft Research on the project. Susan will take over from here to describe what’s on the horizon for DataUp.

The new version of DataUp will be available after February 24th, 2014. This version will have a new, clean web interface with functionality for both users and administrators. A DataUp administrator (i.e., repository manager), will be able to define the file-level metadata that will be captured from the user upon data deposit. In addition, an administrator will be able to activate the  “Data Quality Check”, which allows the DataUp tool to verify whether user’s uploaded file meets certain requirements for their repository. The “Best Practices” and file “Citation” features from DataUp version 1 are still available in version 2.

Note that we will be phasing out DataUp version 1 over the next few weeks, which means the add-in for Excel will no longer be operational.

Dying to see the new tool?

Microsoft Research will be at the International Digital Curation Conference (#IDCC14) in San Francisco at the end of February, demoing and discussing their suite of research tools, including DataUp. Susan will also be at IDCC, demoing DataUp version 2 more informally during the poster session with the goal of getting feedback from delegates.