The ingest phase of the digital content life cycle involves the deposit, acceptance, and enhancement of the content and culminates in (1) the repository specifying a set of materials to be preserved for the long term, and (2) the repository making the resource available with all of the information necessary to understand and use it.
For repositories that ingest static unalterable content, like many libraries, the ingest process may be fairly simple. For some social science archives and repositories in other disciplines, the process may involve more work.
At ICPSR, ingest involves the following important data curation steps:
- Receipt of Submission
- Data Enhancement
- Confidentiality and Privacy Review
- Documentation and Metadata
Receipt of Submission
When a data producer agrees to deposit data, there must be checks in place to validate and process the submission. Secure handling of the data is also critical. Many repositories establish an accession register to identify and track all submissions.
At ICPSR, all data are deposited via an electronic Deposit Form. Files uploaded via this secure system are given unique deposit IDs and moved to the appropriate area for further processing. Data producers sign off on the deposit and ICPSR sends confirmation of the receipt of materials. Physical submissions that arrive at ICPSR via removable media like CD-ROMs or DVDs are immediately copied to a secure location and the copy process is verified to ensure that all files transferred properly.