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ZivaHub Data Sharing and Publishing: Open And Closed Collaboration

This guide details all the information needed when using UCT's Institutional Repository ZivaHub

Open And Closed Collaboration

ZivaHub Quick Guide on Open & Closed Collaboration

ZivaHub, running on the Figshare for Institutions platform, is ISO-certified as a trusted digital repository. As such, it provides a POPIA-compliant environment (also GDPR-compliant), meeting the e-privacy and data security regulations of the European Union. Once you are logged in to ZivaHub, you can create a project and invite collaborators to it, including researchers outside of UCT. You can also be invited to other researcher’s projects to either view or contribute to their data. In short, the Projects tab is your pathway to collaboration on ZivaHub. Here, we will look in some detail at the two project types: 


  1. Individual project

  2. Group project (recommended)


As the type cannot be changed after creating a project, a number of considerations should be made by the project creator when choosing the project type:


  1. Whose storage quota should be used - an individual or a UCT department?

  2. Who will be the owner of the data once the project is completed?

  3. Who will be reviewing items shared by non-UCT users?


This table presents a simple comparison between Individual and Group project types:



Group (recommended)


Everyone uses their own quota and account storage. For UCT users: 20GB, for non-UCT users with a standard account: 5GB.

Submitter’s quota will not be used, storage allocation comes directly from the project.

Ownership of data

The individual who uploaded the data owns the data at all times. People take their data with them if they leave the project.

All work is stored on institutional storage and remains within the project space if people leave. After the departure of any team members, the project creator becomes the owner of the data item.


Items published by users from outside the organisation don’t have to go through review (if review is turned on for the group).

Items published by users from outside the organisation have to go through review (if review is turned on for the group).

How to set up a new project

Navigate to the Projects tab in your My data area, and click on +Create a new project.

Follow these 7 simple steps to finish the process:

  1. Write a meaningful title that is / relates to the name of your project. 

  2. Describe the project in detail: its objectives, scope or coverage, findings and so on.

  3. Complete the funding details for the project by adding the name of the funder and the funding code or grant number. If there is more than one funder you may add more funders by clicking the +add another grant tab.

  4. Specify the type of the project. Is the data owned by you as an individual or the group as a whole? Consider that in the case of an individual project, if you leave the group, the data leaves with you. 

NB: Once you save the type of the project, you cannot change this. Please refer to the table above to aid you with your choice. It is advised to create a DMP to work through the future implications.

  1. Add users to the project by searching on the right-hand side. You may add users that are not yet on figshare by clicking on the invite new users link: 


Users can either be collaborators or viewers. Collaborators can comment on the project and the data within it, as well as add their own data. Viewers can only view the data. Neither viewers nor collaborators will be able to edit any data on the items that are not their own (no data or metadata editing).

  1. Save changes if you want closed collaboration. Note that you have the option to display the project publicly, but you can only apply this setting after you have public / published content in the project.

  2. If you want open collaboration, i.e. to make the project public, you must first make at least one item within the project public. On the Privacy settings click on display this project publicly and then click Save changes.

*Tech Tip: should you encounter problems with creating a group, for instance if an error messages warns you about ‘quotas’, please just contact us for assistance.*

How to add data and notes to the project

  • How to add new items to the project: 

Click on +Add new content and Select Add a new item, which takes you to the item (i.e. metadata) form to complete. Once you’ve saved the item, it will appear in the home page of the project as shown below. You can also add a new note to serve as part of a project, which will remain visible only to members of the group, even after publication. 

As a collaborator, you can comment on individual items within the project or on the project as a whole (as well as add items, of course). 

Comments can be made by clicking on theicon on the right hand side of the items uploaded.

A collaborator can not edit any of the items uploaded. Only the person who uploaded the item can edit the item (i.e. change the metadata).

  • How to add items from My data to an existing or newly created project:

  1. Select the item/s in your My data space. 

  2. Choose Actions. 

  1. Move to/from project and choose the desired project destination you are moving to (for example ‘Test project’), as indicated below.


How to publish your project - Open collaboration

ZivaHub requires that in order to publish your project, at least one item in it must be published:

After you have published at least one item, you can publish the project by clicking on Manage then publish project.  Projects themselves are not assigned a DOI, while each published item of course does receive one. However, it is still possible to cite a project. A sample citation can be downloaded from underneath the project description.

Once you have gone through these steps, you will now see your live project by selecting View Project from the Manage menu.

Additional Resources