LDbase Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of data do you take in LDbase?

LDbase is a domain specific data repository for behavioral data. When we made LDbase, we wanted it to be the first stop for any educational or developmental science researcher to store behavioral data or search for behavioral data. Therefore, LDbase is specialized for these communities (see About). More technically, LDbase can ingest any file, although files bigger than 100MB will be very slow to upload.

What is behavioral data?

By “behavioral data,” we mean any data collected from a participant using a questionnaire, survey, tester, computer, etc. Normally this type of data would be stored in a spreadsheet that has rows and columns. We also accept data from reviews, including meta-analyses. We don’t accept neuropsychological or genetic data, (extensive) text data (e.g., transcripts), video data, or picture data. LDbase is purposely set up to allow you to link to these unaccepted data types stored in other repositories which specialize in that sort of data.

What is metadata?

To be able to reuse data, someone needs to be able to find them. Therefore, when sharing data, data needs to be accompanied by rich metadata to assist in the findability of the data. Metadata is the data that describes the data. Metadata allows a user to know what is inside the dataset without opening it. Think about this as you would keywords for an article or search terms in a library. For your article, your keywords serve the purpose of helping other scholars find your work and know the key topics and points. In education and developmental science, good metadata would include information about the study design (e.g., experimental or correlational), the participants (e.g., age, sample size, population drawn from) and the variables (e.g., general construct information, number of time points).

I can’t upload actual data but I still want to share what I’ve done. Can I still use LDbase?

You do not need to upload a dataset into LDbase to make using LDbase useful. Indeed, when you use the LDbase “add dataset” function, you are asked if you are uploading a dataset or providing a link to the dataset stored externally. This second option is for those who have already stored their dataset somewhere else, or who might be using a publicly available dataset that they do not own themselves. By using LDbase for your project with external data, you are creating and indexing metadata of your project, allowing others to know about your project, and allowing you to store other aspects of the project on LDbase, like the code you wrote to access that other dataset. And maybe your LDbase entry will allow other users to discover a dataset they didn’t even know was publicly available!

You can always use LDbase as a data user! Search for new data).

Help! My file format is not on your list of available formats!

Contact us at LDbase@fcrr.org and we will get it sorted out.

When exactly does my data get released to the public?

If you upload a dataset into LDbase using the Add Dataset function in a published Project and do not set an embargo, your data will get released to the public immediately after you select “Publish on LDbase.”

Can I allow others to manage my data?

Yes! Use the “Manage Members” button on your main Project page to assign registered LDbase users to your project management team. We have two roles available: a Project Administrator and a Project Editor. You can assign as many people as you’d like to each role. These assignments are per project. If you have multiple projects in LDbase, your project administrators and project editors will not be able to alter your other projects.

What is a Project Administrator?

You become a project administrator when you create a Project in LDbase. Additional project administrators can be added by any current project administrator. A project administrator has the highest level of access to a project and its contents. They can:

  • Add/Edit all project metadata
  • Upload product to the project (datasets, codebooks, code, and documents)
  • Approve exempt access to certain users for any product you have embargoed
  • Access/Edit embargoed products
  • Add/Remove Project Editors and other Project Administrators
  • Delete the project completely from LDbase

What is a Project Editor?

A project editor has the second highest level of access to a project and its contents. They can:

  • Add/Edit all project metadata
  • Upload products to the project (datasets, codebooks, code, and documents)
  • Approve exempt access to certain users for any product you have embargoed
  • Access/Edit embargoed products

Can I embargo my data?

Yes, you can! Embargoing your data means you restrict public access to your data. Although the goal of open science is to not embargo data, it is so much better to upload and embargo your data in LDbase than to simply keep your data on your computer. LDbase is a secure storage option, and it allows others to see the metadata of your data, knowing that the data even exists! There is also a mechanism in LDbase for the public to request access to embargoed data.

When you use the Add Dataset, Add Code, or Add Document functions, you may check a box saying you would like to embargo your data. If you select this option, you will then be asked to set an expiration date for the embargo, if you like. You may also create a list of people who can override the embargo, allowing for easy sharing of the embargoed data with lab members and colleagues, or perhaps with select members of the public who have requested access, while keeping your data otherwise restricted from the public. Your LDbase project team members (the project administrators and project editors) are in control of the embargo process and can change the settings at any time.

How do I share an embargoed dataset with a user?

If you have an embargoed dataset, there are two ways you can share the embargoed dataset with other users. First, any affiliated user of your project, including project administrators and project editors, can access and edit embargoed data. Second, LDbase allows any registered user to request access to the embargoed dataset. This request process initiates a system email to all of the project administrators of the dataset. From that point, you (as a project administrator or project editor) and the dataset requestor will go back and forth until a mutual agreement is reached regarding parameters of data use (you might even want to use a data sharing agreement). You have full control of this process, and may reject any user request as you wish, for any reason. If you choose to allow the user access to the embargoed data set, you then can go into the dataset edit function and add that user as an embargo exempt user. They will then be able to download the dataset as they wish, and you are able to remove that access as you wish.

How can I request access to an embargoed dataset?

If you are a registered user of LDbase and find a dataset you are not affiliated with which is embargoed, you will see an option to request access to the dataset. This request process initiates a system email to the project administrators of the dataset. From that point, you and the dataset owner will go back and forth until a mutual agreement is reached regarding parameters of data use (you might even want to use a data sharing agreement). The project administrator can then add your registered user account as an embargo exempt user and you will be able to download the dataset as you wish.

This same process works for any embargoed product.

What is an Embargo Exempt User?

An embargo exempt user is a registered user who has been given access to download an embargoed dataset or other product. This access is given only by the Project Administrator or Project Editor in the “Edit Dataset” function (or similar on other edit pages).

Can I save my work and not publish it right away?

Yes! You will be given the option to save (and come back), and not publish, any work you have done on LDbase. Once published, you can unpublish, although please remember that the internet remembers forever.

How will I know if data I downloaded from LDbase has been updated?

By becoming a registered user of LDbase, we allow you to subscribe to datasets you are interested in. To do this, go directly to the dataset you have in mind and click the “Get Updates” button. Our system will send you an email if that particular piece of data has been updated or changed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Help! My IRB/ethics committee wants information about LDbase that I cannot find on your website.

Check out our Resources page for Terms of Agreement and Data Security FAQs. If the information you need is not available there, please feel free to contact us at LDbase@fcrr.org and we will work with you to get what you need.

Why don’t you have a template for what a codebook should look like?

We believe that our field needs best practices for codebooks, but each project, and even each dataset, is so idiosyncratic that we could not possibly release a useful codebook template. Generally, we recommend you check out our data management guidelines.

Why should I create an account on LDbase?

Being a registered user allows you to publicly share your research, make a citable product, subscribe to get updates on other’s work, send messages to people within our system, request access to data that is not yet public, be connected to others research, and so many other good things. It’s an easy process, join the community!

How do I cite something in LDbase I’ve used?

If you want to cite a project, dataset, or any product on LDbase, you can just hit the “Get Citation” button to see our best attempt at an APA-style citation for you to use. Please cite LDbase products, citations matter!

If I have a question, who do I contact?

If you have a question about a project or a project product stored on LDbase, you should reach out to a project administrator of that project.

If you have a question about LDbase, see a function that doesn’t work properly, or have an idea for a new function, contact us at LDbase@fcrr.org.

What is LDbase's Integrated Dataset?

We anticipate that many of the datasets that will be stored on LDbase will use the same, or similar, constructs and measures. In these situations, a powerful analytic technique called integrative data analysis is possible, allowing us to rigorously combine independent datasets into one. We give data uploaders the option to let us know if they are happy to contribute their data to our integrated dataset, which we store on LDbase for any user to use. This new integrated dataset will be a powerful tool for our community and we encourage you to contribute your data.