Research Data Guide

Managing research data

PAS-service at the University of Oulu

Contact person: Senior Specialist, Science Policy; Unit for Strategy and Science Policy  Miki Kallio

Long term preservation of RD

Digital preservation refers to the reliable preservation of digital information for several decades or even centuries. Hardware, software, and file formats will become outdated, while the information must be preserved. Reliable digital preservation requires active monitoring of information integrity and anticipation of various risks. Metadata, which describes for example the information content, provenance information and how the content can be used, has a key role in this.

Finnish national digital preservation services.

File formats that are suitable for long terms storage of research data.

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Some criteria for selection of data for long term preservation

Selection of data  for long-term preservation should  be based on integrity, originality and geographic coverage. Data retained must tender a contribution to the scientific knowledgebase. The data may be used to inform national policy making or in an international context. Consider:

  • Scientific of historical value?
  • Uniqueness?
  • Non-replicability?
  • Potential for redistribution / reuse?
  • Costs vs potential reuse of data?

Preprequisites for long term preservation are published metadata and thorough documentation.

Read more e.g. in Guidelines for selecting research data for retention and preservation. The Open University 2013

Different kinds of access conditions to RD

Open access

  • Anyone can access
  • Sometimes a name and email may be requested before access is granted

Managed access

  • Users may need to register and also be approved before access is granted
  • Approval may depend on the status of the user or their answers to questions  (e.g. objective of the research)

Secure access

  • Data is released only through certain secure mechanism (e.g. accessing to remote server)

Closed access

  • Megadata publicly available but the data not readily accessible to users
  • Time-limited embargo blocking the access

Source: Rice, R. C. (2016). Data librarian's handbook. London: Facet Publishing.

Read more: Open Data Handbook by Open Knowledge Foundation