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Thing 6: Long-lived data: curation & preservation

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Thing 6: Long-lived data: curation & preservation

Ensuring data stays accessible and reusable into the future.  Learn about the curation of data and try out a free tool for managing file formats.

  1. Getting started: how would you advise someone what to do to make sure their fragile born digital data is robust and long lived?
  2. Learn more: how does archiving, preserving and curating data "Stack" up?
  3. Challenge me: what's in a (PRO)NOM?

Getting StartedLearn MoreChallenge Me

Getting stated

Thing 6: Long-lived data: curation & preservation

Getting started: Preserving born digital objects

Traditional information sources such as books, photos and maps can easily survive for years, decades or even centuries but digital items require special care to keep them usable over time.

  1. This  video (2.5 min) from the US Library of Congress shows the vulnerability of “born digital” objects like research data: they are fragile; they are dependent on software and hardware; and they require active management.
  2. If you have time: look at the ANDS page on data preservation.

Consider: What key advice would you give someone about preserving their born digital objects. For example the family historian, a researcher, yourself?

Do you have a question?  Want to share a resource?


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Learn more

Thing 6: Long-lived data: curation & preservation

Learn more: A model for data curation, preservation and archiving

‘Curation’, ‘preservation’, ‘archiving’ … are all commonly used data management terms.  Are they all the same thing?

1. Watch this 5.54 min video in which Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean for Research Data Management at Johns Hopkins University introduces the Stack Model for data management and discusses the model's components—storage, archiving, preservation, and curation.

Consider: What do you think about the Stack Model and its relevance for data repositories?

Do you have a question?  Want to share a resource?


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Challenge me

Thing 6: Long-lived data: curation & preservation

Challenge me: Tools to preserve research data

Data managers often refer to ‘long-lived data formats’, ‘open file formats’ and ‘format migration’. The UK National Archives has made available tools and services that can assist with identifying and managing file formats. For this activity look at two tools accessible via the National Archives in the UK: PRONOM and DROID and the Community Owned digital Preservation Tool Registry (COPTR).

1. Start by searching PRONOM to learn more about a particular file format you commonly work with. Hint: Read the PRONOM Help file to find out about the search options available.

2. Now take a look at DROID and read how to use DROID to profile file formats.

3. Try exploring the COPTR Registry using the POWRR Tool Grid and selecting a content type of interest.

If you have time: download the current version of DROID and try using it to profile a small number of files.

Consider: Are PRONOM and DROID tools you'd like to explore further?

Do you have a question?  Want to share a resource?


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