Data Preservation and Disposal


What is data preservation?

  • Data preservation involves converting your data to a preservation format and storing it within a special preservation repository where it will be actively stewarded—managed and migrated as formats change.
  • When you deposit a tabular data file (e.g., CSV, Excel, SPSS, RData) in the Harvard Dataverse, the repository will automatically convert your data into a format that increases the likelihood that it can be preserved.

What can I do to ensure my data can be preserved?

  • The most important step you can take is to deposit and share your data in a data repository. Most repositories will convert your data to sustainable formats.
  • During the planning stage of your project, you can also identify which of your data are stored in proprietary file formats and migrate the data to more sustainable file formats before depositing it into a repository. Find more information on recommended preservation formats at the Library of Congress Sustainability of Digital Formats.

What data preservation resources are available at Harvard?

What are my responsibilities for my data once my research has concluded?