Ensure that your data will be accessible long after your project is over. It is important to think about a long-term plan from the earliest outset of your project so that you can set aside enough time and resources to accomplish it.
It is important to be selective about what data you plan to retain, as every file requires some measure of overhead in terms of storage and maintenance for the long term. It’s a good idea to:
Check with your funding agency to find out if there is a specific policy that spells out a data retention period. For publicly funded research in the US, this is often a minimum of three-years. It is better to aim for even longer, if possible, in case you or someone else need the data later on. Five to ten years is a good rule of thumb.
Making sure your data remain accessible for the long term is a big challenge, especially since technology changes so quickly. Choosing the right file formats can help avoid obsolescence. Use formats that are:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.