Long-term preservation

In data management, data preservation is the process of maintaining access to data so that it can still be found, understood and used in the future.

Why preserve digital data?

"Digital data preservation should be a key aspect of all research projects. Some research data are unique and cannot be replaced if destroyed or lost, yet only by referring to verifiable data can your research be judged as sound." Digital Curation Centre

"Digital curation involves maintaining, preserving and adding value to digital research data throughout its lifecycle.  The active management of research data reduces threats to their long-term research value and mitigates the risk of digital obsolescence." Digital Curation Centre

Why preservation goes beyond (immediate) storage issues

  • Storage media (particularly portable) is at risk of degrading and materials being lost.

  • Backing-up means keeping data available in the short term but saving your data in one or more places does not guarantee its longevity.  Preservation means active management in the long-term.

  • Your data may become incompatible with future software File format changes, making them unreadable.

  • Data may become unintelligible if no supporting documentation has survived.

  • Files may be altered when opened with new software so that they are no longer be understandable or reliable for continued research.

  • Funders now require preservation of data for 10+ years.

  • Access control needs to be considered to ensure that final versions of data are not changed, accidentally or deliberately.

  • Preservation needs to be considered as early as possible as part of data management planning – what preservation requirements will you need to meet, and how will you do it?

Library Research Resources
Open Access Publishing: Leicester Policy (Research Support Office)
Open Access Publishing: Requirements of Research Funders (Research Support Office)

Further Information

Research Data material:

RDM Principles

Data Planning Documents

DMP Documents - Small file

Poster (pdf pdf)

University of Leicester Research Data Management poster

Brochure (pdf pdf)

Copies: researchdata@le.ac.uk 

Blog Data For Research Blog




Input and feedback

August 2018 - This website will be relaunched in September 2018. Feedback and input is welcome, so please let the library research services team know what type of content you would like to be included on the website by contacting us at researchdata@le.ac.uk.

RDM news and events
  1. The University of Leicester Figshare for data digital archive is now available for research staff and PhD students. User guidance on upload/data deposit.
  2. Information Governance training is now available, provided by e-LfH (an NHS organisation). The University has registered to access this NHS resource and individual accounts can be set up by sending name and email address to Andrew Burnham.
  3. There is now a standard University Privacy Impact Assessment process where data collection or receipt, or systems purchase or development may have privacy consequences
  4. The University has adopted a simple data classification model which must be applied by the research PI and/or data owner
  5. We share our RDM survey: overview findings presentation as well as the results of our 2015 survey on Your research data management needs
  6. There is now a University Information Governance web presence
  7. Our Data Management Planning documents have been updated - hard copies can be obtained if you contact researchdata@le.ac.uk
  8. Jisc has published a new RDM strategy document - "Directions for RDM Management in UK Universities"
  9. The Partridge Review - HSCIC Data Release Review - Full report (3.58 Mb) and Summary
  10. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) have published a new Research data policy underpinned by nine core principles and Data management plan guidance (26/03/2015)
  11. RDM Principles approved by the University.
  12. DMPonline version 4.0 - DCC "DMPonline" (Data Management Planning) v4 has gone live. You can use this web based form to create your Data Management Plan, and share it with your collaborators.
  13. Research funder specific web pages (accessible via 'Data Planning & Management - What you need to do') for data planning and management guidance (AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, and STFC)
  14. 'Data Planning & Management - what you need to' - a web page to take you through what you need to do about data planning and management.
  15. 'RDM - The Movie' is released! The 4 minute digital story of research data work here at Leicester.

... more News and Events

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