Many researchers are interested in archiving, but may not know how that will impact the research process. The following are some considerations regarding archiving for specific phases of research and resources for managing these issues.
Proposal Development and Data Management Phase:
Plans for deposit and long-term preservation should be fleshed out while the researcher is at the stage of outlining and writing the grant application. Planning ahead during this early phase of the project permits the researcher to take into account important issues—particularly issues related to disclosure risk—from the very beginning, which can simplify the process and avert problems later on at the data deposit stage. The following are a selection of tools to assist in creating a data management plan:
Project Start-Up Phase:
The final form of the collection should be considered early on to avoid complications when it is time to archive the project. Initial questions to consider include:
For more information regarding initial project considerations, please refer to the Project Start-Up section of the Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving.
Data Collection and File Creation Phase:
Different methods of data collection entail different potential obstacles for archiving. Those choices include:
Regardless of your methodological choice, it is always important to describe the study design and collection accurately. For best practices in creating clear and accurate metadata, refer to the Best Practice in Creating Metadata section of the Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving.
Data Analysis Phase:
When project staff are actively working with data files to investigate their research questions (during data analysis), the following important issues should be addressed:
For more information regarding the above issues, please refer to the Data Analysis section of the Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving.