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Preserving data at the UT (Areda)

The long-term archiving of research data can be done safe and secure by using the UT facility Areda. This facility is integrated with the already available datasets registration in the UT Research Information System (Pure).

  • What is Areda

    Areda is the University of Twente archive for the long-term storage of static data collected, generated or used in UT research projects. But archiving is more than just storing data. Metadata must be added, so datasets can be findable, whereas proper documentation is needed for interpretation and verification, as well as interoperability and reuse of the data. Therefore Areda is linked to the UT research information system (Pure), for adding metadata, while documentation can be included in a README file.

    All files are durably stored on ISO 27001 and NEN 7510 certified servers at the University of Twente. The back-up facility is hosted by Surf, which data centers are located in Utrecht and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Default, preservation and availability is for a period of 10 years. In the near future, other preservation periods are possible.

    Areda offers research groups their own ‘bucket’ where (zipped) files can be uploaded and shared among the group members in accordance with the group’s data policy and guidelines.

  • Preparation for archiving datasets

    Archiving of datasets demands some preparation:

    • selecting and organizing the data files,
    • writing data documentation,
    • creating an archive file (zip or tar), and
    • encryption in case of personal or other confidential data.

    For more information, please consult the guide Archiving datasets in Areda.

  • Archiving datasets in Areda

    Archiving datasets in Areda means upload the archive file you created during the preparation to the intake bucket of your research group. Next, add metadata about the dataset, such as title, creator, etc. and a copy of the README file in the UT research information system (Pure). There you can also link the dataset to one or more of your publications.

    Here is a visual of the archiving intake process:

    To help you with the intake process, please consult the guide Archiving datasets in Areda.

    Metadata will be reviewed by the data steward of the faculty. After this, the archive file will be transferred to the bucket of the research group.

    Apart from archiving in Areda, it is recommended to publish research data and share it with others outside the UT. Sharing or publishing datasets means that you upload them to a trusted data repository, preferably 4TU.ResearchData or DANS.

  • Access and sharing

    Datasets are archived in the research group bucket. All research group members have access to the bucket of their own group. Access to files can only be restricted by means of encryption.

    You can share a dataset with people outside the group. Therefore, in Areda you can generate a unique, temporary link to the dataset.

    Be aware that access and internal sharing should be in accordance with data policy of the research group or higher organizational entity, and agreements with third parties involved.

    It is advisable to add terms of use in the documentation of the dataset in the README file (guidance / template).

  • Personal data

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires that personal (any information which are related to an identified or identifiable natural person) data are not kept longer than necessary to achieve the purposes for which they are processed. If longer preservation is needed, anonymization is preferred.

    In any case, be sure that you registered the processing of personal data in compliance with the GDPR. When you indicated in your GDPR registration the need of preserving personal data, you should act in accordance with this information about preservation and protection of the data.

    When archiving datasets with personal data, please be aware that file encryption is needed. Instruction about file encryption is offered during the Areda archiving process.

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