Data Archiving & Preservation

Data archiving and preservation is more than just secure storage. Instead the data must be "curated" which might include archiving and preservation, ultimately with reuse in mind.

How do you know if your data should be archived for long-term access? The need to manage and curate data might be best determined by answering yes to any of the following questions:

Is your data...

  • kept for a long time?
  • require a secure backup location?
  • rare or one-of-a-kind?
  • not easily recreated?
  • complete and ready for distribution?

Where to archive your data

In general, if an appropriate discipline-specific data repository for your data already exists, that should be your first choice for long-term archiving of data sets.

figshare logoIf no discipline-specific data repository exists, figshare is a data repository that allows researchers to publish all of their data in a citable, searchable, and sharable manner. figshare offers unlimited storage space for data that is made publicly available on the site, and 1GB of free storage space for users looking for a secure, private area to store their research. Users of the site maintain full control over the management of their research while benefiting from global access, version control and secure backups in the cloud. Read more about figshare and data management plans.


This guide is heavily modeled on the excellent data management guides at

California Digital Library/UC3

University of Minnesota Libraries

University of Notre Dame