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)

Contact Us

e: researchdata@le.ac.uk

t: 0116 252 2310