What is iDAI.repo and what do I use it for?

Publishing the research data on which the research results are based in addition to the classic research products is now a generally accepted part of scientific practice, including in archaeology, ancient studies and the humanities. It is therefore explicitly required by the DFG Code "Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice. Code of Conduct". A domain-specific data portal is advantageous over a generic one because datasets can be understood, metadata added, and linked in a domain-specific manner.

The concept of Open Data is also gaining more and more importance in the archaeological sciences. iDAI.reporepo enables DAI staff and their project partners to share data easily and without high technical effort. This offer complements the already existing iDAI.world of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), which offers a higher degree of structuring, but at the same time requires more work for data integration. In particular, smaller research products and scientific data should be published in a simple and transparent way and made available to other scientists.

The technical basis of iDAI.repo is the open source software CKAN.

How can data be published?

The independent use of iDAI.repo for the publication of research data and products is reserved for DAI employees and their cooperation partners.

Please contact the RDM-Departement of the DAI, if there are any uncertainties: opendata@dainst.de

The following information is required for the publication of research data from collaborative projects:

  • Project name and estimated duration,
  • Information on the cooperation partners,
  • Amount of data (estimated if necessary),
  • License request (CC-BY, CC-BY-SA preferred),
  • Schedules and deadlines,
  • completely (as far as possible) filled out „metadata.pdf
  • and other information necessary for the assessment of the research data.

Research data can be uploaded either one at a time or in larger packages using a script.

Please note that only the following file formats will be included in iDAI.repo:

csv, odt, rdf, txt, jpeg, jpg, png, tif/tiff, pdf, json, xlsx, xml, mkv, geojson, tsv, geotiff, txt, docx, ods, wld, svg, sql, jsonl, zip, dng, geotiff, dxf, siard, gpkg, qgs, qgz, mov, avi, ffv1, flac, wav, dae, obj, ply, warc, mhtml.

We are also happy to support you with third-party funding applications if you want to subsequently publish your research data with iDAI.repo.
Please understand that we cannot always respond immediately to short notice requests, we will answer as soon as possible.

Contact us at: opendata@dainst.de

Add individual records via graphical user interface

Please use the description on the Confluence page for iDAI.repo.

Import larger data packages

After you have contacted the DAIs RDM-Departement the following steps are necessary:

  1. Download the following form:"metadata.pdf". Fill out the document in its entirety.
    The metadata requested in the document play an important role in archiving your digital data. In addition, they are important for ensuring the findability, comprehensibility and reusability of the data. The completeness of the document is therefore essential. If you are not sure which data to enter, please contact the contact mail address.
  2. Save the document together with all your files to be deposited in a separate folder.
  3. Archive your folder as a "zip" archive (You can find instructions for example here for Windows)
  4. Send the complete data to: opendata@dainst.de

If your files are too large to send by email, please use a file transfer service like Dropbox, Cumulus, Wetransfer, oder Sendbig.

If this is not possible, you can also send us FTP access data. If you do not have an FTP server available, we can provide you with FTP access. Contact us as early as possible for this purpose.

Once received, the data will be reviewed by an administrator and published if complete. If further information is needed, you will be contacted.

What does it mean to publish data and make it reusable?

If you want to publish your data in iDAI.repo, it is necessary to provide information about the licensing of the data. This is the only way to ensure a legally compliant subsequent use of the data. A license also offers the possibility to specify how the data may be used and by whom. In principle, we advise you to orientate yourself on the standardized [CC licenses] and to keep them as open as possible. In order to ensure an actual re-use of your data, we advise against issuing NC or ND licenses. DAI projects need to be aware of any DAI internal licensing requirements before publishing data.

Overview CC-licenses

  • CC: You may use the medium as a user.
  • BY: You must mention the name of the licensing person(s).
  • SA: You must license your work with the same license as the media it contains.
  • NC: You may not use their work for commercial purposes if a the medium is included. (Attention, there are "unwanted side effects" here).
  • ND: You may not alter or copy the media.

www.creativecommons.org (02.11.2022)

Searching data in iDAI.repo

You do not need to register to use the general search function.

You have the possibility to display the order of the records according to different options: according to relevance, according to ascending or descending file names or according to the last processing status.

iDAI.repo supports two search modes. Both can be used from the same search field. If the search expression entered in the search field does not contain a colon (":"), iDAI.repo performs a simple free text search. If the search expression contains at least one colon (":"), iDAI.repo performs an advanced search.

Simple free text search

To find records in iDAI.repo, enter any combination of search terms in the search box on the home page or on any page at the top right.

iDAI.repo searches for the complete word. Wildcards are not supported in the simple search.

iDAI.repo displays the first page with the results of your search. You can:

  • show more pages with results,
  • repeat the search, modifying some terms,
  • narrow the search to records with specific tags, data formats, etc., using the filters in the left column.

In case of a large number of results, the filters can be helpful, because you can combine them, selectively add and remove them, change the search while keeping the existing filters and repeat it.

The search terms entered by the user in the search field define the main "query", which is the essential search.

There are a number of modifiers that vary the parameters of the search query. The + sign indicates terms that must be included in the search result. - The - sign indicates terms that should not appear in the search result. Text enclosed in quotation marks (e.g. "San Jose") is treated as a phrase. By default, all words or phrases specified by the user are treated as optional unless they are preceded by a "+" or a "-".


Search request is printed in bold.

  • census searches for all records that contain the word "census" in the query fields.
  • census +2019 searches for all records that contain the word "census" and filters only those that also contain "2019", since it is treated as obligatory.
  • census -2019 searches for all records containing the word "census" and excludes "2019" from the results, treating it as necessarily excluded.
  • "european census" searches for all records containing the exact phrase "european census".

iDAI.repo applies some preprocessing during the search.
Example: Testing searches for all records that contain the word "testing" and also "test", since it is the root word of "testing".

Note: If the record name contains words separated by "-", each word will be considered individually in the search.

Advanced search

If the query contains a colon, it is considered a field-based search and the query syntax is used for the search.

This allows the use of wildcards "*", proximity matching "~" and other functions. The basic syntax is field:term.


Search request is printed in bold.

  • title:european searches for all records that contain the word "european" in the field title.
  • title:europ* searches for all records that contain a word beginning with "europ" in the field title, such as "europa" and "european".
  • title:europe || title:africa searches for records that contain "europe" or "africa" in the title.
  • title: "european census" ~ 4 A proximity search looks for terms that are within a certain distance of each other. This example searches for records whose titles contain the words "european" and "census" within a distance of 4 words.
  • author:powell~ iDAI.repo supports fuzzy search. To perform a fuzzy search, use the "~" symbol at the end of a single word term. In this example, words like "jowell" or "pomell" will also be found.

Displayed results

When you have found and selected a matching record, iDAI.repo displays the records page. This contains:

  • Name, description, and other information about the record.
  • Links to and brief descriptions of each of the resource tabs.
  • Activity Stream - shows the history of recent changes to the dataset.
  • Groups - here you can see all the groups associated with this dataset.

When you have found a matching record, you can be informed about changes to this record via the "Follow" button on the record page. To use this feature, you must have an account with iDAI.repo and be logged in.