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Data Management for Undergraduate Researchers: Publication/Preservation

What is Publication and Preservation?

Data publication is the process of preparing and disseminating research findings to the scientific community.  Data preservation includes the actions and procedures required to keep datasets for a period of time and includes data archiving and/or submission to a data repository.

Resources on Publication and Preservation

Why Should You Publish and Preserve Your Data?

Publishing and preserving your data allows further access to your datasets and is recognized as good practices by researchers and institutions.  Datasets can be published as scholarly products, either linked to journal articles or as a standalone data object with scholarly value.  When published with a digital object identifier (DOI), datasets can be easily discovered and cited in other reserchers' work, increasing the value and impact of your research, as well as ensure research integrity.

There are times that it might not be possible to publish data; however, it is still important to preserve and archive your data for long-term access.

Guidelines for Data Publication and Preservation

When preparing data for publication and preservation, it is important to take some things in consideration:

  • File formats for long term access: The file format in which you save your data will influence the ability to share and re-use your data.  You will need to plan for both hardware and software obsolescence.  Save datasets in open, documented formats, when possible, to ensure long-term preservation.
  • Metadata standards: Metadata is a standardized way of organizing data and provides context to data, including the who, what, where, when of data creation and methods of use, and provides the means for discovery, including a bibliographic citation, and reuse.
  • Copyright, privacy, and confidentiality:  It is important to establish ownership of the data before you preserve and publish. There are also ethical concerns surrounding data and it is important to maintain the confidentiality of research subjects.  Purdue University participates in the Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI).  Make sure you have considered the implications of sharing data.
  • Publisher and funder requirements:  Some publishers and funders have specific requirements for long-term access to research data.  It is important to understand the requirements prior to publication.
  • Repositories:  There are subject-specific and institutional repositories available for the depositing and publishing of data.  Tools such as Databib can help you identify appropriate places to archive or publish.

Subject Guide

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Scott Brandt
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