Check these practical questions and answers about archiving research data at the UT. For other questions you can contact the data steward in your faculty.
- Where can I archive and publish datasets?
You can archive datasets in the UT facility Areda. Apart from that you can publish the dataset in a trusted repository, preferably 4TU.ResearchData or DANS.
- What kind of data materials can I archive?
You can archive all types of datasets, both as supportive material to a publication (PhD-theses, journal articles, etc.) and as stand-alone items.
Datasets may be accompanied by related materials, such as
- specific viewing and analysis tools (models, algorithms, scripts, analysis or simulation software, schemas)
- laboratory or field notebooks, diaries
- questionnaires, transcripts, codebooks
- standard operating procedures and protocols
- informed consent forms
- Can I archive datasets at any moment during my research?
Yes, as long as archiving fulfils the following requirements:
- it is aimed at securing data authenticity, verification and/or reuse
- the data are static, so not subject to changes anymore.
- Should I archive all datasets?
- Can I archive datasets on the M- or P-drive?
The M- or P-drive are not suitable for long-term persistent storage of data because they cannot guarantee that the datasets will remain immutable, which is a prerequisite for the authenticity of the data.
- Why can I best publish datasets in a trusted data repository?
Trusted data repositories are certified because they abide to 16 requirements, such as
- the explicit mission to provide access to and preserve data in its domain,
- having a continuity plan to ensure ongoing access to and preservation of its holdings and
- having adequate funding and sufficient numbers of qualified staff managed through a clear system of governance to effectively carry out the mission.
- Are the datasets FAIR when archived in Areda and published in a trusted data repository?
Whether datasets are FAIR highly depends on the way they are described by means of metadata and documentation, more than merely the location where they are archived or published. Look at Making data FAIR for more information.
- What data should I archive and publish?
The table below presents what to archive and publish depending of the purpose of preservation.
What to archive/publish
Datasets underlying to research results in publications, plus analysis tools (scripts, etc.)
All raw datasets relevant for further or other research, together with necessary scripts, models, software etc. and documentation
Datasets which are refined for publication, together with additional documentation
- How can I archive personal or other confidential data?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires that personal data (any information related to an identified or identifiable natural person) are not kept longer than necessary to achieve the purposes for which they are processed. If longer preservation is needed, anonymization is preferred.
When datasets contain personal data, please be aware that file encryption is needed when archiving. Instruction about file encryption is offered during the Areda archiving process.
- Can data subjects demand that their data are to be erased?
If the data subjects agreed in the participation of your research project, it means that they implicitly agreed in archiving the research data. Therefore, they cannot demand that their data should be erased before the end of the retention period.
In case data subjects want to exercise their right, they can contact the Data Protection Officer (DPO).
- Which formats should I choose for the data files?
Use general, non-proprietary formats to prevent loss of access to files and to enhance the chance of future interpretability of the data. Preferred file formats are e.g. PDF, Plain text, TIFF, FLAC, CSV or XML (see also extended list of formats from DANS or from 4TU.ResearchData).