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When a project is complete you should take a full copy of all the files associated with the project. In this case you have to consider the long-term future of the data. The subject of archiving requires more detailed consideration than can be given here, but, briefly, if the project is of a sort which requires the long-term retention of the associated data files, you must take steps

  • to keep the archive copy secure, which means that it must be refreshed (copied onto fresh disks, for example) every few years.
  • to label the data, both by physically labelling the disks and by including metadata in with the files.
  • to store the data in a format which does not depend on a particular piece of proprietary software to read it.

Not all projects have the same archiving requirement but it is something that you should consider from the outset of every computer-based project.

You should, as a matter of course, keep University data in your personal or shared central file space.

University records management policies and procedures will in due course address the various aspects of archiving, including the specific requirements of research data.

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