Home » Using tDAR » Creating and Editing Resources » Documents

Creating a Document

If you are just preparing to upload a new Document and would like to preview in a condensed format the information you will be asked to provide, check out our upload guide. This downloadable document summarizes the metadata required to upload a Document.

To create a Document, first, log in to tDAR. Click the Upload button on the tDAR toolbar. You can access this toolbar and button on any page within tDAR when you are logged in. You can also navigate to the dataset creation page from your Dashboard.

From there, you will move to the Creating: New Document page. You will begin entering metadata in the Basic Information entry section.

Basic Information

Basic information for a Document includes the status of the metadata, the title of the Document, and the year the Document was created.

Choosing a Status

In the Status field, select the status (either active or draft) that describes the state of this information resource. Select active to indicate that metadata entry is complete and that the resource is ready to be published once it is submitted. The status active means that the Document metadata is visible to all users through searching and browsing.

Select draft to indicate that metadata is NOT complete and that the resource is NOT ready to be published. Use the draft status to save your work (remember to click the submit button at the bottom of the data set entry page, though, to save your metadata in tDAR).

Note: Status does not inherit from a Project to resources inside that Project. Thus, a Project may be marked as a “draft” or even “deleted” without affecting any of the resources within it.

Entering the Year

The Year field Documents the year in which this Document was created and/or published in its current state. Use the textbox to enter the year your document was created.

Choose an Account to Bill From

If you already have a billing account with tDAR, simply select the account you would like to bill to. If you do not have a billing account set up, see Creating and Managing Billing Accounts.****


Document Creators

In the Document Creator data entry section, list the persons who contributed to the construction of the Document you are uploading to tDAR. A person who contributed to the creation of the Document may have served as an author or editor.

Begin entering the name of a Document creator in one of the name fields in the Person data entry section. tDAR will make suggestions from a list of tDAR users and other entered persons (i.e., other creators, authors, editors, etc.). If one of the suggested persons matches the person you wish to identify as a Document creator, select that person. If the suggested persons do not include the person you want to identify, then enter that person’s name, email address, and institutional affiliation as accurately as possible. Enter a current email address and institutional affiliation ONLY if you are confident it is accurate.

To add additional Document creators, click on the add another button. Enter the appropriate information for that person and select the appropriate role.

In some cases, an individual person may not be credited with Document creation. Rather, an institution may be identified as creator of the Document. To add an institution as a Document creator, click on the add another button and select Institution.

Additional Citation Information

Types of Documents

Select the Document type that best describes the Document you are uploading to tDAR. The Document type that you select will determine the citation data entry fields that tDAR presents to you.

  • Book / Report
  • Book Chapter / Section
  • Journal Article
  • Thesis / Dissertation
  • Conference Presentation
  • Other

You can change Document types without losing any data.

Complete the additional fields by filling in the text boxes. For example, in the publisher field, enter the publisher of the Document that you are uploading to tDAR.

The field Copy Location is displayed for most of the Document types. This field asks you to provide a location (e.g., an institution, an agency, a repository, a library, etc.) where a physical copy of the Document can be located. For example, if a report was produced for the Bureau of Land Management Phoenix area office, you should list the BLM Phoenix area office in the Copy Location field.

Adding an Abstract/Description

This text field allows you to provide a narrative about the content of the Document. You will likely want to describe the research that guided the construction of the Document, some of the primary variables and variable states, the use and/or potential uses of the Document, and any important information that users may need to know to apply your Document. Use the textbox provided to enter an abstract.

tDAR Collection and Project

You can add your Document to an existing Collection or Project that you have permission to edit. To select a Collection, start typing the name of the Collection in the text box and select the name when it appears in the drop-down box. You may also use this text box to name a new, public Collection that will be created when you save your Document and will only contain the new Document. To choose a Project, use the drop-down menu to select from Projects that you have permission to edit. Check the box below the Project text box to enable inheritance of metadata from that Project.

Institution Authorizing Upload of this Document

The Institution Authorizing Upload of this Document section records the institution that owns the resource (i.e., sponsored the production or publication of the Document) and/or that gave you permission to upload the resource to tDAR. For example, if the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sponsored a report and they provided you permission to upload that report to tDAR, the BLM should be entered in the Institution Authorizing Upload of this Document section.

Individual and Institutional Roles

You can use these fields to credit the individuals and institutions that contributed to the resource. You can toggle between person and institution using the buttons on the left side of the text boxes. Select the role that best describes their contribution. Use the add another button to add additional contributors.

Adding Document Specific or Agency Identifiers

Document Specific or Agency Identifiers in tDAR can include a wide range of values:

  • Contract numbers
  • Internal project numbers
  • Permit numbers
  • etc.

If you have added the Document to an existing project, you can choose to inherit the data in this section.

To enter an identifier

  1. Click in the Name field
  2. Begin typing the identifier name. For example: “State of California Contract Number”, “BLM Permit Number”
    1. Many fields within tDAR include auto-complete, so tDAR may suggest existing values that match what you have typed
    2. If an existing value matches, select it
    3. Enter the identifier value in the value text box

Spatial Terms

Spatial terms describe the location of your project area. The spatial information entry section includes two separate components:

  1. Geographic terms for general location keywords, including named regions, geographic features, states, towns, etc.
  2. A map that allows you to draw a box around your project area

Note: If you draw a project location box that is 1 square mile or less in area, tDAR will display a wider box to other users to protect your project area/site location. See the section “What if I want to hide my site location?” below.

Drawing a bounding box around your site

  1. Use the Google Map display to navigate to your site location
  2. Click the Select Region button
  3. Draw a box that best approximates the area that your project investigated

Entering Coordinates Manually

If you know the exact coordinates of your project area, you can enter them manually into tDAR. Click on the checkbox next to “Enter / View Coordinates.” Coordinates can be entered in several different formats. For example:

  • 40°44′55″N
  • 53 08 50N
  • Decimal: -73.9864

What if I want to hide my site location?

tDAR provides several options to protect the exact location of your project area and/or sites. If your bounding box is less than 1-mile square, tDAR will alter that box when it is displayed to users to obfuscate or hide the exact location. Alternatively, you may simply draw a wider box.

What if I entered my site location incorrectly?

Simply click the reset button. You may also click on the Enter / View Coordinates and adjust the spatial information manually.

Temporal Coverage

Temporal coverage includes temporal keyword terms, calendar date ranges, and radiocarbon date ranges (if available) for the archaeological/cultural resources that your project investigated.

Enter as many or as few temporal terms as you would like to describe the temporal coverage of your project. Use the add another temporal keyword box to add additional terms. Use the ” ” box to delete a temporal term that you entered in error or that you would like to remove from your project description.

Coverage Dates

Use the drop-down box to select either Calendar Date or Radiocarbon Date. Enter a calendar start date and a calendar end date for the sites or other archaeological/cultural resources that your project investigated.

Use only numeric values in the calendar date text boxes (Do not enter calendar era designations such as “B.C.E.” or “A.D.”). To denote a date in the “B.C.E.” designation, simply place a ” – ” before the date’s numeric value. Thus, ” – 200 ” is equivalent to ” 200 B. C. E.”

If available, enter a radiocarbon date by selecting radiocarbon date from the drop-down menu, and enter a start date and an end date for your project’s archaeological resources.

Investigation Types

Investigation types describe the various types of activities performed during a project. Select as many or as few types that apply to your project.

You can hold your cursor over any investigation type to obtain a detailed description of the activities included in that investigation type.

Site Information

The site information section includes the names of the sites investigated during your project and a summary of the types of archaeological resources found at those sites.

Enter as many or as few site names as you would like to describe the work completed during your project. Use the add another keyword to add more sites. Use the trashcan icon to delete site names that you entered in error or that you no longer would like to associate with the project.

Select the Site Type descriptors that best describe the archaeological/cultural resources that occur at the sites you listed in the Site Name text boxes.

Click on the ” + ” box next to a site type to open a more detailed list of descriptions for that site type. Select all the type descriptions that apply to the sites you listed above in the Site Name text boxes.

Material Types

The material types section describes the types of materials that were collected, analyzed, or discussed as part of your project. Select as many or as few that apply to your project.

What if my material type is not listed?

If a material type you’re looking for is not listed above, you have two options:

  1. enter the material type in the General Keywords section
  2. contact tDAR and ask for it to be added

Cultural Terms

Cultural terms describe the archaeological cultures and/or historic population groups who are affiliated with the cultural resources in your project. Select as many or as few cultural terms as you would like to describe the groups of people affiliated with your project’s research.

Within tDAR, cultural terms can be specific or general. tDAR will mark specific cultural terms with their generalized equivalents (e.g., “Early Woodland” is also marked as “Woodland”). Thus, if you select the specific cultural term “Early Woodland”, your record will also be found by a user who searches for the more general term “Woodland”.

Click on the ” + ” box next to a cultural term to open a list of more specific cultural terms.

What if the cultural term I want to use is not listed?

If a cultural term you would like to use is not listed, please add it to the Other section at the bottom of the cultural terms section. Data curators review these terms regularly and update the list of cultural terms to reflect commonly entered values.

General Keywords

General keywords allow you to add any additional terms that are not included in the other Document metadata. This may include specific types of investigations undertaken as part of your project (e.g., “material sourcing”, “ceramic petrography”, “experimental archaeology”), specific site types (“rock gardens”, “ground stone production area”, “shrine”), etc.

Enter these keywords into the text provided. If you decide to enter additional keywords, enter succinct keyword terms that accurately describe your project. Also, enter succinct terms that researchers in your area use commonly.


The notes field allows you to enter any additional information about your Document that is not captured in the project metadata fields. This field acts as a comments section, where you can enter a small narrative that might help other users better understand some important aspect of your Document.

Select the type of note you wish to create from the Type drop-down box. Enter your note in the text field provided.