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NSF Data Management Plans: Archiving & Preservation

DMP Guidelines for Archiving and Preservation

Use this section to describe how you will archive your data and preserve access to it for the long-term. (Archiving data has a different meaning than data storage. Storing data (e.g. on an external hard drive) does not have the same safeguards in place as the archival process does. Archiving is a process that guards against format obsolescence or media degradation; it also ensures that others will be able to access the data in the future). Your plan can discuss how you will store your data during the project; it must address your long-term preservation strategy.

  • What data needs to preserved for the long-term? Why this data? Will raw data potentially be useful to others in the future? What transformations need to be made to the data to prepare it for preservation?
  • What metadata or other documentation needs to be submitted along with the data to make it usable in the future?
  • Where will you deposit your data for preservation (e.g. a repository, archive, or database)? Who is responsible for maintaining this resource? What policies does this repository/archive have in place for preservation and backup? 
  • How long should the data be preserved once the project is over?

Sample Language for Digital DU

Below is some sample language that you could include in your DMP if you are using Digital DU to archive and preserve your data. Feel free to edit or modify as appropriate.

"Upon completion of the project (or x amount of time thereafter), data will be deposited in Digital DU, a standards-based digital repository operated by the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries. This repository provides long-term management, preservation, and open access to the digital assets and scholarly output of the university. The University Libraries oversee the content and collections of Digital DU, and ensure the migration of supported file formats. The repository platform runs on Islandora, an open-source, Drupal-based content management system. The hardware for the repository system is stored at a collocation facility in order to address security, power, and cooling needs. Data in the repository is replicated and backed up to disk locally and in the cloud using DuraCloud, a service of DuraSpace."

Digital DU Requirements

Not all data is appropriate to submit to Digital DU. If your data meets the following requirements, Digital DU could be a good resource to use for preserving and sharing your research data.

1.) All data deposited in Digital DU will be completely open access

Digital DU does not provide an authentication mechanism; if you deposit your dataset here, it will be freely available to everyone

2.) Deposited data must be the final version of the dataset

Digital DU is not a platform that allows data retrieval, data editing, data re-uploading, or data versioning via multiple data creators. If you choose to make your dataset available here, it needs to be the final version.

3.) Digital DU cannot support extremely large datasets (e.g. terabytes of data). 

Contact Digital DU with the size specifications of your dataset to learn if it will be able to be deposited.

4.) Depositing supported data formats will ensure migration.

Digital DU is content agnostic, meaning that it is designed to hold almost any kind of digital file. That being said, it supports the use of sustainable file types in order to encourage the preservation of records for the future. Currently the file types that Digital DU supports are:


Text Files
.xls, .xslx, .ppt, .pps, .pptx, .doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf, .txt, .xml,

Image Files
.gif, .jpeg,.jpg, .jp2, .png, .psd, .tiff, .tif,

Audio and Video
.mp3, .wav, .mp4, .mov, .swf, and .wmv.

Science & Engineering Librarian

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Call (303) 871-2905 for a research consultation appointment.