2.1 Add metadata (project) and data

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Decide how you want to organize your data: Do you have multiple unique datasets or only one dataset containing multiple files of data? As the data submitter, you are best suited to make this decision. Try to imagine yourself as a user of your data, and ask yourself what the most useful grouping would be.

You would create distinct records if:

  • There are enough differences among your data files that they require unique descriptions of methods and data dictionaries (i.e. lists of the measurements included in the files)
  • The datasets will likely be reused independently and should have unique citations
  • The authorship varies from dataset to dataset
  • You would keep all the data under a single record if:
  • It would be confusing and redundant to generate several unique records where one will suffice

Adding a Licence

When you add metadata, you will be asked to upload a licence. Click here to view the options for a CanWIN licence, and a description of the Creative Commons licences below. 


Create a dataset

Online, the process to add a new dataset record consists of two main forms: the “Add Dataset” form, where you will add details about the overall project associated with the dataset, and the “Add data” form, where you will upload and describe one or more specific data resources that you choose to include with your dataset entry. To create a new dataset record, use the following steps as a guide:

Select “Log in” at the upper right corner of the CanWIN home page if you are not already logged in.

click on the “Datasets” menu item at the top of the page.

ckan add dataset


Select “Add Dataset” at the upper right of the screen. Now you should be on the “Create Dataset” form.

Create dataset

Create dataset

Proceed to populate the fields shown. See our Description of fields on “Adding/Editing Dataset Project Information” for detailed explanations of each field.

The only difference between “creating” and “editing” a dataset is that you only need to create the dataset once. After you create a dataset, you can then go back at any point and edit the content in the fields. The fields on these pages are exactly the same.

After you have finished filling out the dataset creation form, select “Next: Add data” at the bottom of the screen. 

Add the data

You should be on the “Add data” form and are ready to submit your data files and resources. If you are adding data later, you still need to submit some information and a placeholder. This can be more metadata about the data, or a link to the project site, or an image that represents your project.

Upload or link to your data files and any related content. Make sure they are named and formatted the way in which you want them to appear. See the Description of fields on “Adding/Editing a dataset (resource)” page for detailed explanations of each field.

If you are only adding one resource at this time, when finished, select “Save” at the bottom of the page to save your changes. If you finish adding that resource but want to immediately begin adding another resource, when finished, select “Save and add another” at the bottom of the page to save your changes and add an additional resource.

You will repeat this “Add data” process and create an additional resource for each data file you upload or each API you link. You can create multiple data resources within each dataset, allowing you to describe each resource more accurately. If you would like to include multiple files in a single downloadable resource, you may upload a single zip file containing multiple data files. If you choose this method of adding your data, please describe the contents of the zip file(s) thoroughly since users will not be able to preview zipped files.

Creating a data dictionary to upload with a dataset provides a valuable resource. See our Data Dictionary Guidelines for more information on preparing data dictionaries.

You can always return to your dataset to add data and other resources at a later time by clicking the “Manage” button that appears if you are an admin for the data.

manage dataset

Manage a dataset

The click on the “Resources tab” and click “+ Add new resource” button at the top left of the page. You can also reorder the datasets.

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