Archiving is the long-term storage of scholarly research data and documents. Maintaining data integrity, preserving data provenance, allowing data sharing and reuse, and complying with institutional and funder regulations, are just a few reasons why the location and process for archiving data and associated materials should be carefully considered.
If you are looking for information about data repositories or public access requirements, access the Engage in open science and open scholarship page. For information about storage of equipment or other research materials, access the Close out the project page.
Best Practices for Archiving Data and Documents
Best practices and policies for data and document archival are often driven by the kind of data that have been used or collected in the research. Ideally, archival plans should be decided upon prior to data collection as part of a comprehensive data management plan, and should consider the following:
- How will you organize and name your files?
- How will you de-identify restricted or sensitive data?
- How will you archive supplementary files?
- Are there retention requirements from the sponsor?
- Are there restrictions to sharing based on the type of data, licensing or agreements, or embargoes?
Before selecting how you will archive your data, review the best practices and considerations for data sharing and archiving provided by the Duke Office of Scientific Integrity and the Duke Libraries.
Retention of study-related documents should also follow best practices set by the institution. Review the DUHS Institutional Review Board’s policy on the retention of records and the Duke Faculty Handbook policy on research records for more information on what documents need to be archived and retention durations.
The tool below presents archival options depending on the data-type and any associated access restrictions based on data classification standards. Answer the following questions about your research to see which archival options best suit your needs.