Dataverse is an open source web application to share, preserve, cite, explore, and analyze research data. It facilitates making data available to others, and allows you to replicate others' work more easily. Researchers, journals, data authors, publishers, data distributors, and affiliated institutions all receive academic credit and web visibility.
A Dataverse repository is the software installation, which then hosts multiple virtual archives called Dataverses. Each dataverse contains datasets, and each dataset contains descriptive metadata and data files (including documentation and code that accompany the data). As an organizing method, dataverses may also contain other dataverses.
The central insight behind Dataverse is to automate much of the job of the professional archivist, and to provide services for and to distribute credit to the data creator. Before Dataverse, researchers were forced to choose between receiving credit for their data, by controlling distribution themselves but without long term preservation guarantees, or having long term preservation guarantees, by sending it to a professional archive but without receiving much credit. Dataverse breaks this bad choice: we put a Dataverse (a virtual archive) on your website that has your website's look, feel, branding, and URL, along with an academic citation for the data that gives you full credit and web visibility. Yet, that page of your website is served up by a Dataverse repository, with institutional backing, and long term preservation guarantees.