A Capability Maturity Model for Research Data Management
CMM for RDM » 5. Repository Services and Preservation

5. Repository Services and Preservation

Last modified by Arden Kirkland on 2014/05/18 23:04

Overall goal: Keep research data accessible, even as hardware, software, and storage media change. 

An important function of the research data lifecycle is data preservation, drawing on a combination of technological and institutional infrastructures to ensure that data are maintained in the state expected by users. Aspects of preservation to consider include availability, consistency, privacy, integrity, and audit.

  • Availability means that users are able to access the data as needed.
  • Consistency means that the system behaves in the ways expected by the users.
  • Privacy means that only authorized users can view data.
  • Integrity means that only authorized users can change data and that data can only be changed in specified ways.
  • Audit means that access and changes to the data are recorded as needed to ensure the provenance of the data.

Data preservation is a consideration across the life of a research project, though the nature and expected level of performance will evolve. For example, considering privacy, while data are being actively collected and analyzed, they might be stored locally and available only to members of the research team, while later in the project, curated datasets might be made available to the public through project, institutional or disciplinary data repositories. To ensure availability, data should be regularly backed up, more frequently if data are still being collected and analyzed. Long-term storage of data adds additional concerns about preservation of data across the inevitable changes in the underlying technologies and hosting institutions. 

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