Research bites: an introduction to Digital Preservation

On Thursday 12th January I gave a Research Bites session on Digital Preservation. I’ve talked about this topic before and the advice I gave was the same – you can read about it here.  These are the slides I used:

which contains the basics of our approach and advice for researchers to ensure their research is preserved for the long term.

If we are going to value data we need to give it value.

Over the past twelve months I have slightly changed the emphasis of my approach to digital preservation. The secret to successful digital preservation is not about seeking a technical solution – it’s about good practice from the outset. If we are going to value data we need to give it value.  The process of preservation is one of collaboration to achieve the goal of long term access.

This means we should take the time to create useful and rich metadata; which gives context and meaning to the data. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated our technology is, if the data doesn’t make sense, or can’t be interpreted then there isn’t any point in keeping it.

It’s not just a requirement it’s also an opportunity.

Ultimately  the researcher is the one who is best placed to decide what data is of value and how best to keep it usable and accessible. This means preserving not just the raw data but the context as well. It’s not just a requirement it’s also an opportunity to highlight and promote excellent research undertaken by the university.

If you want to know more about managing your research data and making it available, now and into the future please get in touch rdm@lancaster.ac.uk or look at our website for more.

 

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