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Short introduction - First Steps TUdatalib

1 About TUdatalib

TUdatalib is the institutional repository of TU Darmstadt for research data generated or processed at TU Darmstadt.

TUdatalib allows the structured storage of research data and descriptive metadata, long-term archiving (at least 10 years) and, if desired, the publication of metadata and/or files, including the assignment of a DOI. It also provides a fine-grained rights and role management.

TUdatalib is operated jointly by the ULB and the HRZ and is based on the open source software DSpace. The web interface of TUdatalib is available at

The service has been available to all members of TU Darmstadt from 2019 and has been in regular operation from 2022.

This quick guide provides an overview of how to register in TUdatalib and how to upload research data. For administrators, it offers insights into the management of areas and collections.

Please see also our FAQs and the extended TUdatalib documentation. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us.

2 Registering and logging in to TUdatalib

  • Visit TUdatalib and choose "Login".
  • Choose "Login with TU-ID" if you are a member or affiliate of TU Darmstadt. If this is your first login, you will be automatically registered in the system.
    • In this case you will automatically receive access rights to your workgroup area.
  • If you don't have a TU-ID, you can register with an external email address and must be authorized by a department administrator.
    • Enter your email address under "Register". A verification link will be sent to you.
    • Follow the verification link and enter your contact information and a secure password.

You are now ready to log in to TUdatalib. In TUdatalib, individual data and metadata are assigned to a collection, which in turn is assigned to a community. Administrators manage communities and collections, and possibly individual files. They assign roles and rights to users so that they can read unpublished collections, submit files, and review others' submissions. In order to upload files, you generally need the appropriate permissions for a community or collection, which are assigned by the TUdatalib administrator designated by your department. If you're not sure who is responsible for your community, please contact us.

3 Terms: Communities, Collections, Items

TUdatalib is hierarchically structured, with levels consisting of one of three classes:

  • Communities are the hierarchical levels in TUdatalib that structure the repository. Communities can contain both subcommunities and collections. Communities do not directly contain items.
  • Collections are "containers" for items. They are always part of a community, and contain only items. Subcollections are not possible.
  • Items are the level on which data is stored in TUdatalib. They consist of at least one file (bitstream) and additional metadata describing the data. An item always belongs to a collection. Subitems are not possible.

4 Uploading Files

  • Log in to TUdatalib.
  • Navigate to the Fachgebiet responsible for your research data and select "Submit a new item to this collection" in the appropriate collection. You will need the appropriate permissions. If you have not been granted upload rights, please contact the administrator of your department. The same applies if you want to create your own collection or subcommunity for your research data: again, the site administrator will grant you the necessary permissions or create the collection for you.
  • Follow the steps in the form. You can save your entries at any time and resume the submission later.
  • Enter metadata for your file.
  • Set access for your submission.
    • Normally, you don't need to provide any information at this step, because the collection's access permissions are automatically applied. An initially invisible record can also be published later by an administrator.
    • If you add the record to a collection that is public, it is automatically published and you cannot restrict this. Public collections can be identified by the fact that you can see the list of items in the collection even if you are not logged in to the system.
  • Upload your data. If you want to upload large files, follow the instructions in the TUdatalib documentation.
  • Specify a license for your submission. We recommend CC licenses for data and open source licenses for software.
  • Review your submission.
  • After submission, you will receive a confirmation email. The submission may be reviewed and approved by an administrator in your area. You will also receive a confirmation email.

5 For Admins: Managing Communities and Creating Collections

Decentralized admins in TUdatalib manage the communities of individual research groups and manage the collections and items within them. They can assign roles and permissions to users so that they can read unpublished collections, submit files, and review others' submissions.

General Information

  • To manage a community and edit the metadata for a community, navigate to the desired community and select Edit Community. The three tabs allow you to manage metadata and assign roles.

  • To create a new collection, navigate to the parent section and select Create Collection. Enter the name of the collection and other information, and click the Create button. Additional settings can be made by editing the collection.

  • If you want to manage a collection, such as assigning rights and roles, navigate to the desired collection and select "Edit Collection. Here you can edit metadata, assign roles, and make other settings. Under Roles, you can add additional administrators for the collection, authorize individuals or groups to create items in the collection, and manage reviewers for newly submitted items, among other things.

  • If you want to manage individual files/items, navigate to the selected item and select "Edit this Item".

  • If you have an internal review process, you can assign the role of reviewer to individuals for each collection. See "Reviewing Items" for more information.

Setting Up a Community for the First Time

When you are appointed as an administrator of a community that has not yet been set up, the community contains only the Inbox collection. This is configured so that members of your workgroup can submit items, but they are not archived; instead, the TUdata team is notified as the reviewer. You are free to structure this community according to your own preferences. You can either delete the inbox or configure it so that you, or another person designated by you, is the reviewer.

Examples of differently structured examples in TUdatalib:

Typical activities when setting up a community for the first time:

  • Design a structure for your area that makes sense in terms of subcommunities and collections.
  • Create subcommunities and collections and assign additional permissions to them.
  • Decide how new items are to be submitted in your community.
    • Directly in individual collections, or in a central inbox from which you move items?
    • Should items be reviewed before they are saved, or can authorized individuals upload data without further review?

6 Reviewing Items

  • When an item is submitted to a collection for which you are a reviewer, you and any other reviewers will be notified by email when relevant submissions occur.
  • Under the menu "My Account -> Submissions" you can view a list of open submissions.
  • You can take over individual tasks by clicking on them and selecting "Take selected task". Now you can accept, reject, or change the metadata of the submission.
  • If you reject the submission, it goes back to the submitter, who can revise it and resubmit it for review.