Store and Preserve
Storage and preservation of data are essential for the success of a project and the reuse of data produced.
Use the 3-2-1 rule when backing up your data.
- Keep a minimum of three copies of your data and files
- Place at least two copies of different storage media (e.g. external harddrive, local drive)
- Place at least one copy in a different geographical location (e.g. cloud)
For more detailed best practices, consult DataOne.
Why should you preserve your data?
Data preservation allows for the access of data and files over time. At a minimum, this includes the storage of data in a secure location, across multiple locations, and saved in file stable formats that are readable in the future. Ultimately, well preserved data increases the impact of the data and researcher.
What should be preserved?
Many elements should be considered when determining whether or not to preserve a file or particular data set. In particular, available space, cost, and reproducability should be disscussed. DataOne offers detailed guidelines to help you determine what should be preserved.
How to prepare data for preservation?
The preservation of data is dependent on whether the file format used:
- Is openly documented (more preservable) or proprietary (less preservable);
- Is supported by a range of software platforms (more preservable) or by only one (less preservable);
- Is widely adopted (more preservable) or has low use (less preservable);
- Is lossless data compression (more preservable) or lossy data compression (less preservable); and
- Contains embedded files or embedded programs/scripts, like macros (less preservable).
Courtesy of The University of Illinois Urban-Champaign
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