Long-term preservation of research data

When storing data for the long-term an important distinction should be made, namely archiving for scientific integrity or for reuse. A researcher is required to archive their data for the long term, concerning scientific integrity. In the Netherlands, storage is obligatory for a minimum of 10 years in accordance with the Nederlandse Gedragscode wetenschapsbeoefening (VSNU, 2017).

A researcher can also make the decision to make the data available for others for reuse. Increasingly, funders and journals are encouraging the (open access) storage of datasets. There is a multitude of long-term data archives available – partly discipline-specific, partly general archives covering all scientific disciplines. When choosing a repository for the archiving of research data, different considerations should be made: the quality of the data archive, the possibilities offered by a data archive (persistent identifier, access restrictions and licenses for example), the requirements of the archive (file formats, metadata, costs) and the findability of data.