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Data Management

Why Preserve Data?

Long-term preservation is the ultimate goal for unique research data - the final stage in the data life cycle. Data repositories exist to collect and preserve scholarly information. Most institutional repositories, based in universities and other organizations, have preservation as an explicit component of their mission, and as such will handle many of the details above after the initial deposit of data.

In 2013, the Obama Administration Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) released a memorandum mandating that federally funded research should be publicly available. Many other grant agencies have followed suit in the following years.

UVM Institutional Repository

ScholarWorks @ UVM

Collects, preserves, and shares the scholarly and creative works of University of Vermont faculty, staff, students, and their collaborators.  It promotes discovery and research by providing open access to a wide range of digital resources created by the UVM community.

At this time, ScholarWorks @ UVM does not collect and preserve research data.



Directories of Data Repositories

Recommended Data Repositories

File Formatting

Because technology changes over time, it is best to store data in the simplest and most widely accepted formats. Ideally, the files should be:

  • not encrypted (encryption technology may change, and a single error may render an entire encrypted file unreadable)
  • not compressed (compression is a potential source of error and compression technology may change)
  • a format with an open, documented standard (if the standard is freely available and not controlled by one company or organization, it is likely to persist over time, and interpreters can easily be written for it if technology changes)
  • a commonly used format (widespread use makes future continuance and compatibility of the format more likely)
  • a standard encoding, such as ASCII or Unicode

As time passes, file formats will change and files should be migrated to newer formats as necessary.