FAQs

Accounts
Can I use my current email address for logging into SEAD?

Absolutely. SEAD supports both local account creation and sign-in using Google, Facebook, ORCID, or Twitter. You can link your current email account to any of these services (i.e. you do not need a Gmail account to use the sign-in with Google). Instructions on how to link your email to a Google account can be found at here. ORCID’s registration page can be accessed here.

Note: if you have a lot of data to upload to SEAD and are planning to use the SEAD Uploader, choose the local account login setting up your SEAD account as this is the only authentication option currently supported by the SEAD Uploader.

I have an ORCID account but I can’t get it to work with SEAD

ORCID will not share your email address unless you explicitly approve it. You will need to login to ORCID and edit your profile to allow your email address to be shared. If you have any other issue, let us know.

I want to update my SEAD account password or change other information in my profile

You can reset your password by clicking on the “Forgot password?” link on the Login page. When prompted, enter the email address associated with your SEAD account and click “Reset Password. ” Check your email for further instructions.

To update your profile information, login to SEAD and clicking on “View Profile” under your avatar in the top right corner. Select “Edit Profile” on the left hand side to update your affiliation, position, ORCID iD, and email settings.

What is ORCID?

See http://orcid.org/ for the definitive answer. In short, ORCID is a service that helps you keep your scholarly papers and other products (like data published through SEAD) associated with you rather than other people in the world with the same name or same initials.

Working in SEAD Project Spaces
Can I find all the data with a given tag or metadata field?

Yes! To search by tags, select “Ordered Tags” or “Weighted Tags” under the “Explore” tab in the top navigation.

Use “Advance Search” also found under “Explore” to search by individual metadata fields.

Can my group add our favorite metadata terms if we don’t see them listed in our SEAD Project Space?

The vocabulary you use to annotate your data can be changed by your Project Space administrator(s). They can remove existing terms and add new terms from any vocabulary that fits your needs. Learn more about Managing Metadata Terms.

Can SEAD interact my instruments and external analytical tools (such as R, SAS, STATA, SPSS, Matlab, Excel, etc.)

It is possible to connect SEAD to external instrument and analytical tools. SEAD’s restful web services could be used within any application that can be scripted to use web services. If having a specific tool(s) integrated with SEAD would accelerate your research, let us know, and we may be able to provide some basic capabilities or help you get started in building your own.

Does SEAD support author ordering (as in paper publications)?

Not yet, but this is in development. You can use multiple terms (dc:creator, dc:contributor, dc:contact, …) to provide more distinction between types of contributions.

How can I add datasets to a Collection in my Project Space?

Start by clicking on "Create Collection" under the "Create" tab to creating a new collection. Collections in SEAD are containers that bring together multiple datasets and their associated files in an almost unlimited number of ways. One dataset can belong to a number of different collections, and, like a dataset, you can share your collection with a Project Space. To add a dataset to your new collection, access this dataset's information page and select your collection in the dropdown under "Collections containing the Dataset" on the right hand side. Click "+ADD."

Note: Collections in SEAD are not publishable units. You can only publish individual datasets within collections, one at a time.

How can I easily get large numbers of files into SEAD?

You should be able to drag up to a hundred files into the upload page. If you have many files to upload, or expect to periodically add more files to keep your Project Space in sync with a local/shared file system, you may want to consider using the SEAD Uploader tool. It is a command-line based desktop java upload client. The SEAD Uploader can upload hundreds of thousands of files and is capable of being stopped and restarted, or used to just upload files that are new since an earlier upload. You can also use this client to verify that all the uploads succeeded. To use the tool, download the SEAD Uploader jar file. More information on how to use the SEAD Uploader can be found here.

How can I tell if my local file is already in my group’s Project Space?

If you’ve uploaded files using the SEAD Uploader tool, simply run it again (using –merge) and it will upload any new files in the directory(ies) you specify. You can also run the Uploader again with the –listonly and –verify flags. That will check every uploaded file and make sure that the copy in your Project Space is exactly the same, byte for byte, with what’s on your local disk.

How do I request access to a particular Project Space?

SEAD Project Spaces are private, and access is controlled by Project Space administrators. If you’d like to see data or have the ability to leave comments, add tags, etc. on the data in a private Project Space, you’ll need to request access. To do so, click on the Project Space’s tile to access its home page. Click on “Request Access” to alert the admin(s) of the Project Space that you would like access. If you are not logged in yet, you will next be prompted to login or sign up for a new SEAD account. Alternatively, the admin(s) can send you an invitation from the Project Space.

If you think you should have access but don’t, contact us and we’ll help to find out what’s going on.

I’d like to annotate data with complex information, such as which instrument created it and what the instrument’s settings were. Can SEAD handle this?

The metadata vocabulary available in your Project Space for you to annotate your data can be customized by your Project Space administrators to best fit your needs. You can choose to annotate the data using a single text value (dc:source = “thermometer, S/N 12345, units: degrees C”), use a URL that points to an external web site that describes your instrument, or use several terms (instrument_type = “thermometer”, instrument_S/N = “12345”, instrument_unit = “degree C”).

What are the Dashboard, Public Data, and Published Data views in SEAD 2.0?

Your Dashboard view shows the latest activities related to Project Spaces, datasets, and collections which you created or have access to. The Dashboard also has tabs to show you your latest Project Spaces, datasets, and collections. Once logged in to SEAD, you can quickly access your Dashboard by clicking on the SEAD logo in the top left corner. If you’d like to see everything you have access to in SEAD (not just the resources you created), you can use the links under the “You” tab in the top navigation to view all Project Spaces, datasets, and collections you are part of.

Each Project Space in SEAD has the Public Data and Published Data views which are open for public access. The Public Data tab displays all datasets and collections that were made public in your Project Space. Learn more about making your data public in SEAD.

Selecting the Published Data tab on your Project Space’s home page lets you see all datasets that you and your team published via this Project Space (datasets that have been given a DOI, preserved at the long-term repository, and registered with DataOne). For a given published dataset, you can quickly see basic metadata: abstract, creator(s), publication date, repository, and DOI. The Published Data view of your Project Space is open for public access. Learn more about publishing data in SEAD.

What is the size limit for my Project Space?

SEAD currently has no upper limit on how much data projects can upload for free, but please give us a heads-up if your project requires space in excess of 10GB.

Which types of data can be previewed in SEAD Project Spaces?

You can upload virtually any kind of data to your Project Space in SEAD. Additionally, SEAD provides extractors that allow you to preview many types of files in your browser window. Our current list of supported file types for previewing is listed below. If you are unable to preview a file of these supported types, please let us know.

  • Audio Files: .mp3, .m4a, .aac, .wav
  • Video Files: .mp4, .mov, .m4v, .avi
  • Image Files: .gif, .jpg, .png, .tiff
  • Document Files: plain, ascii, xml, html, .csv, .xls, .xlsx, .doc, .docx, .ppt, .pptx, .pdf
  • Map Overlays: geo-tiff images (.tiff), zip file with all shp information
  • 3-D Moving Images: .obj

Even if you can’t preview the data, this has no effect on the file itself or its successful upload and download. Let us know if a file type you depend on in your work is not supported. We can explore building a previewer or integrating a third-party tool to do so. With basic Java/web development skills, you can also create one yourself.

Publishing Data
How do I publish data using SEAD?

SEAD offers a hassle-free workflow for publishing your datasets. Publication in SEAD happens in the Staging Area of your Project Space and involves automated data and metadata review and submission to one of the SEAD partner repositories where your dataset would be preserved and made available to others. In the Staging Area, SEAD’s Matchmaker can help match your data with an appropriate repository and quickly address issues that may prevent your publication request from being accepted.

To initiate the publication process for a dataset, simply click “Publish” on the dataset’s page. A “frozen copy” of your dataset is created in the Staging Area of your Project Space where, if necessary, you can make final adjustments to further prepare your dataset for publication. For example, you can choose to add or remove metadata and delete individual files. Changes that you make to your dataset in the Staging Area do not affect the live version of this dataset in your Project Space where you and your team can continue working on it and submit new versions for publication over time. Learn more about Publishing Data in SEAD.

How much data can I publish?

If you have a large number of files or aggregate data sizes beyond a few gigabytes, give us a heads-up! Generally, we would recommend publishing your dataset in parts of <1TB, aiming for <=300-500 GB per part if this makes scientific sense. SEAD expects teams with large amounts of data (TBs) to incrementally publish data to long-term repositories and to only maintain data which are actively being used/developed in their Project Spaces. Repositories working with SEAD often place size limits on the size of individual publications and overall total size of publications from a given project. For projects desiring individual publications less than 1 GB or total data size of <2 TB, SEAD has partnered with Indiana University to provide a minimum of 5 years of storage for data publication in the IU SEAD Cloud repository. We anticipate being able to support larger data volumes through additional partnerships.

What options do I have to customize my new Project Space?

If you are an administrator in a Project Space, in addition to inviting your team into the Project Space, you have several options to customize your Project Space including being able to set the logo, title, header image, and project URL. You may also want to create some empty datasets and collections to help organize your team’s incoming data (‘raw’, ‘processed’, ‘final’ datasets, or a dataset/collection per instrument/experiment, etc.).

You can also customize the set of metadata options that your team can use to annotate datasets and individual files. By default, Project Spaces support basic bibliographic information such as title, abstract, and creators, but you can add terms from your group’s favorite vocabulary and link to external controlled vocabularies which would define allowed values for a specific term. Learn more about Managing Metadata Terms.

What should I publish?

With SEAD, that’s up to you. You can publish the small set of data files referenced in a given paper, or all of your raw and processed data. You can even publish ‘things that didn’t work’ if you think it is useful. SEAD’s intent is to let you, and your community, set and evolve your curation practices to best support your research.

You also have choices about metadata. You can just add basic bibliographic information – your collection’s title and abstract, who created it, and relevant keywords, or add more information about the spatial and temporal range of your data, what technique/instrument was used to create it, the variables measured, etc. Your annotations can be on specific collections or sub-collections, or can be applied to specific data files. You can add data relationships as well, to indicate provenance, or when files document how data in other files were created, etc. How rich your annotations are, and what vocabularies you use are completely up to your project team (though SEAD is happy to provide guidance and recommendations).

General Questions
How does SEAD differ from other data sharing, management, publishing, or discovery tools?

There is a growing number of tools and services that help scientists share, publish, discover, or preserve data. What makes SEAD unique is its entire lifecycle approach to helping you manage and maintain data. We make it easy for you to transition from actively generating and sharing data within a project team to publishing data and registering them with publishers and catalogs.

I've found a bug or a missing feature in SEAD. What should I do?

Please tell us! We appreciate the help from our users in making SEAD more robust and will also be happy to consider adding suggested improvements to SEAD’s future development schedule. Additionally, the core SEAD technologies and web services are a great platform for building more sophisticated services, and we are interested in working with others who might build tools on top of our open source code.

What happens to my data if SEAD disbands?

In the event SEAD can no longer provide its services, rest assured that there will be no change to the preservation of your archived data. Once your data are published in one of SEAD Partner Repositories, they are subject to the preservation guarantees of long-standing institutions like University of Michigan, Indiana University, and the University of Illinois.

For data in your active Project Space, you can easily download your data and metadata and move them to an alternate system. Downloading data is something you can do from your Project Space at any time. Use “Download All Files” links on dataset pages to download your datasets with all files and metadata (both dataset and file level metadata) to your computer.

What is DataNet and how does it relate to SEAD?

DataNet is a National Science Foundation funding program out of the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. The aim of the program is to create a set of exemplar infrastructure organizations (called “DataNet Partners”) that support communities of researchers to advance science research. SEAD is one of 4 DataNet Partners. The other Partners are DataONE, Terra Populus, and the DataNet Federation Consortium.

What is DataONE and how does it relate to SEAD?

To expose published data and make them broadly available and discoverable, SEAD partners with the Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE), an NSF-funded project that provides access to data across multiple repositories of Earth and environmental data. SEAD implemented DataONE Member Node API and further improved it in 2016 to support SEAD’s new 2.0 messaging architecture. Additionally, SEAD metadata generator automatically creates a valid metadata file compliant with DataONE requirements.

What kinds of people and groups are eligible to use SEAD?

While initially founded to address the needs of researchers in the multidisciplinary field of sustainability science, SEAD welcomes researchers from all disciplinary backgrounds to take advantage of its services. Are you looking for a way to more easily share data with your team and manage data more effectively? Do you struggle with how to share your data with others in a more streamlined way than as email attachments or with tools not well-suited to data? Perhaps your grant requires you to publish the data where they can be cited and used by others, but you’re not sure where to publish them or how. SEAD is the place for you!

Support for Data Management Plans
How do I use SEAD in my Data Management Plan (DMP)?

If you’re preparing a funding proposal that requires a DMP, you can include SEAD as the mechanism for enabling data management, sharing, and archiving. SEAD can assist you in building a data management plan that will increase your research efficiency, promote the visibility of your research, and help you meet your institutional and grant requirements.

Contact SEAD if you have questions about including SEAD in your DMP. We will also be happy to provide you with the specific details you should include with your proposal.

What if I want to remove data from my SEAD Project Space?

If you decide that your SEAD Project Space is no longer the place for your active data, you can download and remove your data and metadata. Downloading and removing data files is something you can do from your Project Space at any time. Use “Download All Files” links on dataset pages to download your datasets with all files and metadata (both dataset and file level metadata) to your computer.

Managing Users
How do I remove someone from my Project Space in SEAD?

If you have administrator privileges in your Project Space, you can revoke permissions for any user at any time. Use the “Manage Users” link on your Project Space’s home page to access the “Users” panel which lists all users with access and their associated roles. Simply click on the “x” mark located next to the person’s name to remove this user from your Project Space.

Data Migration to SEAD2
My group’s Project Space has been migrated to SEAD2. How do I get access?

You can quickly create your account in SEAD2 here: https://sead2.ncsa.illinois.edu/signup. Once logged in, you may also need to request access to your group's Project Space by clicking on the "Request access" link on the home page of your space or by contacting your Project Space administrators.

How do I find my migrated data collections in SEAD2?

In SEAD2, your data collections can be found under "Datasets." You can also search for your data by your name, file names, and metadata. When reviewing the search results, pay attention to the breadcrumb links at the top of the page which can help you quickly navigate to different hierarchical levels of your dataset. Example: Project Space Name >> Dataset Name >> Folder Name >> Filename.

Publishing migrated data

Absolutely! You can self-publish your data in SEAD2 any time you want. One of the new features in SEAD2 is a Staging Area for publishing your data where you can edit copies of your datasets to prepare them for publication, identify an appropriate repository for your data, and track the status of your publication requests. Learn more about publishing data in SEAD2.

Folder level metadata in SEAD2

SEAD2 does not currently support metadata at the folder level. If you had metadata attached to a folder in SEAD1, you will find these metadata in a separate file - SEADImport.ReadMe.txt - inside that folder in SEAD2.

Were my published collections migrated to SEAD2 as well?

All data published through SEAD can now be found under "Explore" >> "Published Data." Note that your published data are only available through DOI landing pages and won’t include links to editable data/metadata.

Why can’t I access my group’s Project Space in SEAD1?

All active SEAD1 Project Spaces have been migrated to SEAD’s latest generation platform, SEAD2.

SEAD Migrator

All migrated data and metadata have the SEAD Migrator as an owner. The original creator(s) and the uploader of the data are listed below as metadata. Similarly, you can find the original creation dates of your datasets and files in metadata records.