Data archiving or preservation is the process by which data is maintained for use by future researchers. You may be required by your funder to keep research data beyond the end of your project for a specified period, or consider that the data has long-term value. Many research funders will specify how long data should be preserved and where it should be deposited at the end of the project.
Archiving data can also help compliance with legislation such as the Freedom of Information or Data Protection Acts.
The following options are available for archiving/sharing your data:
- Heriot-Watt's institutional data repository, Pure. A doi can be generated to provide a persistant link to the data. Pure should be used to deposit all data supporting published findings, unless a funder specifies the you should use a specific repository.
- Deposited in an external data archive or repository like UK Data Service (ESRC), NERC data centres or BBSRC list of data sharing resources.
You can also check if there is a recommended data repository/archive for your subject or funder using the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data.org).
There are general data sharing services, such us Zenodo or FigShare. Zenodo is suggested by the EU as part of the Horizon 2020 open research data pilot if no institutional or disciplinary data repository is available. Please note that some funders may recommend a list of repositories for the data to be uploaded to so it is strongly advised to check your funder requirements first.
- kept securely using the university archiving service, Arkivum (recommended for data which does not support published findings).
Data uploaded onto Arkivum are encrypted and replicated to three geographically separated data centres where data preservation, integrity and authenticity is assured irrespective of the data volume or the retention period. For further information on Arkivum, please contact email@example.com
If data is either held in Arkivum or an external repository, a record must be created in Pure describing the data and linking via a persistent url or doi to the data for a greater impact and visibility.