Frequently Asked Questions

About Databrary


What is Databrary?

Databrary is a digital data library that is specialized for storing, managing, preserving, analyzing, and sharing video and other temporally dense streams of data. Our mission is to promote sharing and reuse of video data. We seek to provide data management and organization tools, facilitate open data sharing, enable discovery, and foster data reuse and integration.

What are some ways I might use it?

There are many ways a researcher might use Databrary from teaching to research. See some suggested use cases here.

How do I access shared data?

Some Databrary materials are shared with the general public. But, access to most data, especially identifiable or sensitive materials, is limited to people with authorization. You may browse Databrary's public information freely without authorization.

Investigators must be authorized through their university or institution to have access to shared data in the library.

The Databrary Access Agreement must be signed by both the authorized investigator and the Institution; an affiliate must be sponsored by an authorized investigator. You can register today to begin the authorization process.

Why should I contribute to an open data sharing library?

Data sharing embodies the ideals of open scientific inquiry. It contributes to transparency and bolsters scientific integrity.

A history and commitment of sharing data may enhance the likelihood of funding. Federal funding agencies and private foundations are now requesting data management and data sharing plans. Your work will receive more citations. Users will cite your dataset or tools and the papers associated with them.

The more investigators who share and the more information they share, the more the community of researchers will benefit, the more scientists will discover, and the more the public will benefit from the accelerated pace of discovery about human behavior and development.

What can I contribute?

Databrary is specialized for storing and sharing video and audio recordings. You may share examples of computer-based displays or other supplemental materials associated with a published study or conference presentation such as manuscript drafts, coded spreadsheets, codebooks, questionnaires, instruments, or analysis spreadsheets.

Databrary encourages contributors to share important contextual information about the recordings such as information about the setting (e.g., date, time, location), participants (e.g., age or grade-level, sex, handedness, race, ethnicity, disability), and measures (e.g., video, survey, computer-task). These rich forms of metadata will help users to search, browse, and reuse datasets.

Will I receive credit for my contributions if other researchers use my data?

Yes. Users sign an agreement stating that they will acknowledge contributors by citing any Databrary resources that they use. Databrary will provide permanent identifiers and a standard citation format.

When do I contribute?

Data contributors can upload data at any point.

When should I share data?

Funding agency requirements and journal standards about data sharing are evolving. Databrary's philosophy about Data Sharing is embodied in our Data Sharing Manifesto. We believe sharing data will accelerate the pace of discovery and will lead to stronger, more transparent science. Unless required by journals or funding agencies, you are never required by Databrary to share data if you do not wish to do so.

Sharing data is easier when you have the intent to share from the beginning of a data collection. We recommend collecting and storing data on Databrary from the beginning of a study so when you’re finished running it, sharing the study simply requires a click of one button. We call this process “Upload as you go.”

Sharing can happen at any point in a study. You might not know exactly when you want to share but we suggest getting permission to share from your participants so you have the ability to share your data in the future.

Can I share data I've already collected?

Some investigators already ask research participants for permission to share recordings with other researchers or to show them for educational or scientific purposes. This permission is often acquired by means of a video, audio or photograph release form that is similar to Databrary's. In this case, some recordings that have already been collected might be shared with Databrary. If you have language that gives you permission to share or show recordings, you may apply to share these data with Databrary if your IRB rules that your release language is equivalent to Databrary's, or that your data require no such release to share. See Grandfathering Data for more information.

What about privacy?

Because video and audio recordings and photographs may depict faces, voices, names, or other personally identifying information, special care must be taken. The principles of informed consent enable participants to decide for themselves whether or not they will allow their data to be shared with other researchers for other research purposes. The people depicted must give explicit permission for the recordings or photographs to be shared with Databrary. Databrary has created template documents for this purpose.

In other data formats such as text files and spreadsheets, participants must not be denoted by names or initials. Personally identifying information must be removed before data are contributed. Databrary recommends that authorized investigators adopt best practices for data security and uphold the Databrary Bill of Rights.

Do I have to use Datavyu to contribute data?

No. Contributors are not required to score their videos with the Datavyu coding tool. However, we are happy to offer Datavyu as an option to the community because it is free and open source.

We will work towards round trip interoperability between Databrary and coding tools used by the community.

How to's...


How do I rename a volume?

You can rename a volume by selecting the edit icon by a volume's name and then renaming it in the "Overview" tab.

Can I move a file to another volume?

Currently, the only way to move a file is to upload it in the new desired location and delete it in the old location. We hope to make moving files easier in the future.

Can I delete a file?

Currently, there is no way to delete files because of the purpose of archiving. You can make the data private if you do not want others to see it.

How do I rename files afer they are uploaded?

Enter into the session that contains the file of your choice. Select the edit icon located near the session name. Select the desired file on the timeline and change its name in the "Viewer" window.

My email address changed. How do I change my login email?

You can edit your email by selecting the edit icon by your name on your profile page. In the "Account" tab, you can change your email or update your password.

How do I create a group/lab group?

Authorized Investigators can create lab groups with their affiliates. You can add a member to your lab group by selecting the edit icon on your profile page. In the "Affiliates" tab, type the name of the new individual you want to add and then choose what level of access you want to give them to Databrary and lab data, if any.

How do I extend access to one of my volumes to my lab?

We make it easy to share volumes with your lab group by enabling you to check "Extend access to my affiliates" on the "Access" tab when editing a volume. This will provide acces to anyone who has access to your lab data. Their level of access to this volume will match the level of access they have to your lab data.

What is the difference between tags and keywords?

A keyword is defined by the contributor and serves as a reference to the major concepts that apply to the work. They are frequently the keywords associated with a published study. A tag is defined by a member of the community. It represents the concepts and labels that can be applied to the data. Both enable more in depth search of volumes and videos.

How do I tag my videos?

You can create volume level tags at the bottom of the volume page. You can also create temporal tags on specific parts of videos from the timeline.

How do I download a specific file?

Go to the session that contains the desired file, select it on the timeline, and select the download button on the "Viewer" window.

How do I download an entire volume?

On the volume page, scroll down to the bottom of the "Data" section. Select "Download all files as zip."

How do I download just the metadata for a specific volume?

On the volume page, scroll down to the "Data" section. Select "export data" right underneath the section title and it will download a csv of the metadata.

How do I cite data from Databrary?

Every volume is provided with a databrary specific citation. Please go to the volume page and use the citation listed under "How To Cite" to ensure that the contributor receives proper credit.

How do I change my authorization if I change my position from an affiliate to an authorized investigator?

Your sponsor can choose whether or not to let you continue accessing his/her data. As an affiliate, you can request another authorizaton from your new university and we can work with you to get you authorized through that institution. Once we receive the signed agreement, we can change the authorization on the site to make you an authorized investigator.

How do I tell Databrary that something is broken on the site?

If you do find something broken, please email feedback@databrary.org to provide details of the issue you encountered.