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Data: Preserving Data

Preserving Personal Information

Once you have captured information, it is time to organize it for easier recovery, review, and manipulation.


Raw data sets must be manipulated in tools such as SPSS and SAS. Preservation considerations include: format, code books/calibration information, indexing, documentation of technical details, appropriate ontology for sharing between and across communities, RDA relationships, and secure and reliable multiple back-ups.

There are now government and granting agency requirements for providing shared data using DMPs (Mata Management Plans). See the Purdue University Data site and their collaborative Data Curation Profiles Toolkit for information on creating a data plan. The University of California also provides guidance through their DMPTool.

Investigators can choose to develop or contribute to local data repositories, or they can look for collaborative data repositories. A few collaborative platforms to explore are the Open Access Directory,, Open Science Framework (OSF), and Zenodo. These sites list hundreds of repositories and data platforms in many fields, from art history to zoology.


There are a number of tools for handling published and unpublished academic information found on the web. These tools allow you to capture and annotate citations and fulltext materials. The resulting personal knowledge database is then searchable. Files can even be shared publically and privately. These tool often allow you to integrate the citations into word processor documents, creating various styles of references and bibliographies.

For more information on these Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) tools see  "Citation and Document Management".

Preserving Organizational Information

In addition to individual scholars preserving information and data, instutitions also have stewardship responsibilities for many types of data and information. In order to provide a robust infrastructure, organizations should engage in a needs assessment for formats, functionality, reasonable long-term migrations, and/or emulation strategies.

Collaborative efforts are being developed for international standards, platforms, linking points, and R&D efforts. See the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), which assists higher education research institutions with the issues of digital curation. The DCC provides very helpful guidelines such as How-To-Guides and Case Studies.


Important Regulations

For those utilizing grants, many agencies now have strict regulations. Be sure to address:

  • Government DMP considerations.
  • Granting agency rules.
  • Intellectual Property concerns ... copyright embargoes, patent considerations, Export Control.


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