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China Data Lab Dataverse

Dataverse platforms play an important role in the modern research ecosystem. They democratize access to data, facilitate collaboration, and bolster the integrity and reproducibility of research. 

The China Data Lab Dataverse is a platform for sharing, preserving, citing, exploring and analyzing research data on China. It is hosted by the China Data Lab at UC San Diego’s 21st Century China Center. Our goal with the China Data Lab Dataverse is to provide an user-friendly interface, to facilitate easy access to data, and promote cross-disciplinary research on China.

Accessing and utilizing the China Data Lab Dataverse is straightforward. Users can register an account and then search for data using keywords, browse through the collections, and understand each dataset including the metadata. For those familiar with programming, they can employ tools like R and Python to analyze data directly from the Dataverse, which offers a seamless experience for data manipulation and analysis.

If you are interested in depositing your data in the China Data Lab Dataverse collection, please contact us at

How to Use the China Data Lab Dataverse

Step 1. Register a Dataverse Account as a New User

To create your own dataverse and customize it, add datasets, or request access to restricted files, you’ll need to follow the steps below to register an account:

  • Visit [China Data Lab Dataverse]
  • Click on the ‘Sign Up’ button.
  • Fill out the registration form with your details.
  • Confirm your email address to complete registration.

Step 2. Download Data

You can search our keyword-sorted database and download the data directly.

  • Search for the desired dataset using keywords or browse the collections.
  • Select the dataset you are interested in.
  • Click the ‘Download’ button to obtain the data (Note that, in some cases, the data owner may place some restrictions on the downloads).



Step 3. Requesting Permission for Restricted Data

Some datasets have restrictions set by the China Data Lab per agreement with the data owner. In such cases, users need to obtain authorization first before they can access the data. Typically that means the users have to fill out a form to explain or justify the need for access.   

  • Click on the ‘Request Access’ button for datasets which require permission.
  • Fill out any required forms and provide a justification for access.
  • Submit your request and wait for approval from the owner of the data.

How to Upload Your Own Dataset to the China Data Lab Dataverse

The 21st Century China Center is committed to open science and to the advancement of data-driven research on China. We thus welcome all researchers to contribute original datasets to the China Data Lab Dataverse. Our goal is for the China Data Lab Dataverse to become the premier open-source data resource for the study of China and U.S.-China relations.

Outside researchers may upload datasets to the China Data Lab Dataverse by following the steps below. If you wish to place some restrictions about access, China Data Lab staff can work with you on an agreement whereby you can retain final control over the release of the data. 

  • Log in to your dataverse account.
  • Navigate to the ‘Add Data’ section.
  • Follow the prompts to upload your dataset, including detailed metadata.

Submitted datasets will then undergo a review process by the Dataverse team at the China Data Lab. Among other criteria, our team will review the dataset for completeness, originality, accuracy of metadata, and compliance with data-sharing policies. You or another submitter/owner of the data will be notified once the uploaded dataset is approved and published in the library of the China Data Lab Dataverse.

Sample Datasets

At the time of its launch, the China Data Lab Dataverse provides the following three datasets, two by the lab researchers and one by an outside partner. We will continue to expand the China Data Lab Dataverse with new datasets from our own researchers and welcome contributions of original datasets from researchers from other institutions. 

  1. The Database of CCP Elite: detailed biographies of senior Chinese Communist Party members.
  2. “China From the Ground Up” (CFGU) Survey: data from an ongoing series of public opinion surveys in China.
  3. Chinese Student Experiences in the U.S. Survey: data from a 2022-2023 survey of former Chinese international students by the US-China Education Trust (USCET).

Related findings from the datasets.

For more information about how to use Dataverse and access the datasets, readers can refer to the official Dataverse documentation and tutorials. Additionally, the China Data Lab’s main webpage offers further resources.

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