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Digital Scholarship: Preserve data

The University Libraries' Digital Scholarship initiatives.


One of the foundations of scholarship is access to past research. In order to make sure your scholarship is available for generations to come, it is wise to spend some time evaluating where you deposit both your scholarly output and the data you gathered during your research. If you created a robust data management plan, you probably already know how you will preserve your data. While your journal or book may be well preserved by a company, your data is much more likely to be lost.

The Missouri State University Libraries has a great deal of experience in preserving print, digital, and other types of information. Feel free to contact Joshua Lambert at the Missouri State University Libraries if you would like to discuss preservation issues in more detail.

Choose Open Licenses

If your research data has an open license with it, then copyright will not get in the way of future researchers. While facts cannot be copyrighted in the United States, the creativity of organizing that data in a database or other form can be copyrighted. The Open Data Commons has created some tools to help you quickly assign open licenses to your data.

Digital scholarship preservation

Following are some tips to help you preserve your data.

  • Deposit your research data in BearWorks.
  • Follow FAIR Data Principles
  • It may also be advantageous to deposit data in a discipline specific repository.
    • You can use a tool such as re3data to find a discipline related repository but feel free to contact us and we will point you in the right direction.
    • Discipline specific repositories often allow for and demand specific kinds of metadata that will make it easier for people to find and use your data.
  • Data repositories often have guides that can be very helpful as you try to make data management decisions. It is best to read over those guides when you first start your research so you can plan to setup, collect, analyze, and save your data with the least amount of work. Following are a couple examples.