docuteam packer: simple tool for science

The tool docuteam packer helps researchers structure their files in a straightforward way and provide them with metadata, which enables them to be transferred automatically to the ETH Data Archive. At ETH Zurich, there are three ways to archive data in the ETH Data Archive:

  1. One-off upload
    The easiest is the one-off upload via a web form, which can be used to publish supplementary material on a publication, for instance. Even if a package containing several files is loaded, a description with metadata can only be assigned to the entire package.
  2. Regular upload or larger quantities of data
    A so-called “submission application” is just the ticket for the regular delivery of similarly structured or even larger quantities of data. It combines available metadata and files largely automatically and transfers them to the ETH Data Archive in a suitable structure. As developing and adjusting the interface takes a certain amount of effort and metadata needs to be available beforehand, this method is primarily suitable for regular or mass processes.
  3. Structured collection of data in docuteam packer for subsequent archiving
    There is a gap between the first two methods mentioned which the docuteam packer plugs: data on a dissertation, for instance, is collected over several years and ideally documented early on. However, the data acquisition is not usually completed until the end of the project and archived in accordance with the standards of the research group. The docuteam packer tool supports this process as a viewer and editor.

The docuteam packer tool

docuteam packer is a Java application which users can implement locally without any installation. The application enables file structures to be imported from the user’s own file system and structures comprising files and folders to be established manually. It is also possible to predetermine a template within a research group, for instance, in which doctoral students can create and structure their files.


Figure 1: docuteam packer interface at a glance


Figure 2: Extract from a folder structure in docuteam packer

Metadata can be entered, i.e. files and folders described, at any level. In order to support this process, information meant to apply to all elements can be passed down from the top level to all content objects. The file names can also be adopted in the metadata.


Figure 3: Extract from the metadata window in docuteam packer

One particularly helpful function is the automatic reservation of digital object identifiers (DOI) during data acquisition. Although these are naturally not yet activated as long as data is only saved locally, the subsequent DOIs are already known to researchers and can be cited in a manuscript, for instance.

As soon as researchers trigger the delivery of a partial or complete package to the ETH Data Archive in docuteam packer, a package of metadata and files is formed and prepared for archiving. DOIs are subsequently registered with the international consortium DataCite and thus become active.


Figure 4: Entry of a DOI-URL in a browser address bar


Figure 5: Accessing files in the ETH Data Archive. In this instance, the files were found directly via the DOI-URL.

The aim of recording in docuteam packer is the subsequent archiving in the ETH Data Archive. Metadata is displayed on ETH-Bibliothek’s Knowledge Portal and disseminated internationally via other channels, including the Data Citation Index by Web of Science and via DataCite.


Figure 6: Recording metadata on research data on ETH-Bibliothek’s Knowledge Portal

Is docuteam packer an option for me?

docuteam packer is supported by MacOS and Windows and can basically be used on Linux, too. If need be, it can be configured and delivered specifically for a research group.

Working with docuteam packer works best with a size of up to 2 GB. The application is normally very straightforward to handle and install. We will shortly present a vivid example of how a research group can transfer its own data archive to the ETH Data Archive with the aid of docuteam packer in this blog.

Further information on using the docuteam packer is available on the website of the specialist Digital Curation office.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License.


DOI Link: 10.16911/ethz-ib-2595-en

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