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Overlaying Metadata

Documents produced by other parties in the litigation may come in the form of structured eDiscovery productions with fielded data included in the DAT or CSV file.  This file is designed to contain any chosen (or often agreed upon in the Discovery Control Order for a matter) fields of data being transferred with the documents.  Common fields include Custodian, To, From, CC, Sent Date, Modified Date, Created Date, Titles, Extensions and Path.

This option can also be used to incorporate “coding” when migrating from other eDiscovery platforms or done outside of DWR.  The DAT file must contain a “load file key” which is a field that matches with the DWR ID number, Bates number or XREF number.  Native File and OCR File are usually included as well as those fields are necessary for loading documents in other eDiscovery tools but can be ignored when overlaying metadata with DWR.

To overlay metadata onto a set of documents:

Right-click on the filter tree and select Overlay metadata from the menu that appears.


Using the Browse button, navigate to the location of the load file (either .dat or .csv). Once the load file has been specified, the source fields are auto-populated in the Overlay Metadata dialog.

From the Load File Key Column drop down, select the field of the load file that contains the unique record identifier in order to map to the records in the database; typically this is the document’s starting Bates number. The Load File Key Column must contain values unique to each file in the collection.

Create the mappings between fields in the source file and DWR columns by dragging the load file’s Source field names to the right-hand side and dropping them in the First or Second columns. This is aided by having some familiarity with the load file’s contents. For example, knowing that document file extensions were included in a load file field called EXT, one would pair EXT with the "Extension" DWR column.

When the DAT file provides a field of data which will be mapped to a Custom Column not yet created, right click on the field name in the Source list and select "Create custom field"


This will create the custom field and map this field to the proper DWR field.


Click “Show Preview” to view the first five rows of the DAT file to evaluate the columns.

When providing a mapping in both the First and Second columns of any given row, the specified source fields will be concatenated together into the single DWR column. This action is most commonly used for load files providing Date and Time in two separate fields where it is displayed in DWR in a single field.  

When mapping date fields, DWR will calculate from the Sent, Received, Modified and Created to populate the DATE field in DWR with available dates in that order. For family members, the DATE field is populated with the date of the parent document in order for the entire family to sort chronologically. When a specific field is desired to be the DATE field in DWR, map that field to DATE. For the tool to calculate the best date this field must be left blank.

When Email Subject and File Name are supplied as separate fields the tool will load from Title first from FileName and if blank will then load the Email Subject.

When done identifying mappings, click Apply to update the database. The dialog’s progress bar will show that the process is complete.

"Use region and language" check box allows for the selection from a drop down of different cultures that reflect different naming conventions for fields such as dates. For example, the date January 1st, 2018 would appear in English (United States) as 1/31/2018 whereas the date in French would appear as 31/1/2018.