Archive your data
Not all data need to be preserved for the long-term. For instance, some data management plans will indicate that after the research project is complete and published all data will be terminated. Other plans may describe how data will be migrated from short-term storage to a long-term storage option. It is important to know whether your funder has a requirement for long-term data archiving, as this step carries considerable financial and technical hurdles. Others may voluntarily preserve data for the long term, usually the result of a decision which indicates the data should be widely shared, has high re-use value, or that the study would have a prohibitive replication cost.
Plan for it!
Where will you store your data during the research process? Short term storage such as internal or external hard drives, departmental storage shares or personal web space should NOT be used for archiving data. Short term storage is only intended to be a temporary host for your data, and is never a secure storage strategy for the long-term. A data management plan should make clear that short term storage is to be used only during data collection and analysis. It is very important to make redundant copies of data during short term storage. Short term storage options at MSU have been further addressed here.
Where will you store your data after the research concludes? Managed long-term storage is expensive, and costs for long-term storage should be a component of any grant application that requires long-term storage. Oftentimes costs can be significantly reduced or avoided by using a disciplinary repository--but care must be taken to identify trusted repositories backed by stable, well funded organizations.
Finding help at MSU
Michigan State University does not have a ready-for-deposition long-term storage option for research data. It is instead recommended that you use one of the following domain repositories for long-term curation:
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