Not all data need to be kept beyond the lifetime of a project; indeed in many cases it would be impractical to keep everything.

  • Archived data must be discoverable: if no-one can find them, no-one will use them
  • Archived data must be usable: if finding the few useful bits from a huge dataset is like looking for a needle in a haystack, they won't be used at all
  • Storage space is expensive: archived data must be robustly backed up, which can more than double the cost compared to typical storage

Before archiving data, you should carefully consider what is and is not important to keep.

Ideally, you should consider this before you even start, when writing your data management plan.

See How to appraise and select research data for curation (Digital Curation Centre) for further information however you can contact the University’s Records and Archives team via [email protected] to ask for specific advice on appraisal and selection.