Why select and appraise
It is not possible for all digital data to be kept forever but increasingly there is a view that ‘‘storage is cheap so why don’t we just decide to keep everything”. While that may in theory be technologically possible in practice there are four main objections to this view
1. Digital content expands. Even if storage costs go down, both will cancel each other out, or costs could even go up.
2. Backup and mirroring increases costs. No digital preservation approach can survive without appropriate mirroring and backup systems.
3. Discovery gets harder. Keeping everything means increasing noise, requiring additional effort to ascertain which data is the intended target of a search.
4. Managing and preserving is expensive. Unnecessary preservation adds unnecessary costs.
Paraphrased from "How to Appraise & Select Research Data for Curation" DCC
What to Select
So, preservation and what you plan to keep requires some thought. Start planning for long term preservation of your data from the outset of your project. You will need to build in preservation planning early on and adjust it to any research outcomes that emerge during the data collection and processing stages. DataONE.org suggest the following initial criteria for identifying datasets that should be considered for preservation...
In your plan...
Reasons for Sharing Data
There may be reasons for not sharing your data e.g. privacy and confidentiality issues, commercial value of the data. Horizon 2020 has coined the phrase “As open as possible, as closed as necessary.” If you are unable to publicly share your data, consider the possibility that you may wish to make your data available internally to future researchers to facilitate follow-on research, and/or to create a metadata record in your chosen archives or repository. A metadata record will describe your data and aid others in knowing about it. In order to ensure this can happen you will need to manage your data.
Please refer to the "Archiving Datasets" LibGuide to further information on how and where to archive and share your data.