Archiving and sharing data

Data generated during a research project is valuable, don't leave it languishing on your hard drive.  Instead, consider depositing in an archive or repository, if possible making it available for others to reuse.

The University asks researchers to assess which research data should be retained at the end of a project and preserved in the long term (a minimum of 10 years). Where appropriate, Research Data should be made open within a short period after the completion of the research.

Which data should be archived?

Not every dataset you create needs to be preserved in the long term. Our data retention guidance will help you to decide which datasets to keep.

Where should the data be deposited?

In a data repository. Follow our guidance on choosing a data repository to find the appropriate one for your datasets.

Are there tools/software needed to create, process or visualise the data? 

If so, archive with your data.

In which format should the data be deposited?

Data should be unencrypted, uncompressed, non-proprietary/patent-encumbered, use open documented standard, use standard representation (ASCII, Unicode).

The table below gives suggestions on appropriate file formats:

Appropriate formats for data preservation

Type

Recommended

Avoid for data sharing

Tabular data

CSV, TSV, SPSS portable

Excel

Text

Plain text, HTML, RTF

PDF/A only if layout matters

Word

Media

Container: MP4, Ogg

Codec: Theora, Dirac, FLAC

Quicktime

H264

Images

TIFF, JPEG2000, PNG

GIF, JPG

Structured data

XML, RDF

RDBMS