Data preservation and archiving

Data sharing and preservation enables researchers to utilize an existing dataset to replicate research results or to conduct new research. Items required for a data management plan will vary by the type of research. The following list is not exhaustive, and not all items will be required for each project. Some data repositories have specific file formats and requirements for storage.

The Data

When quantitative, data should be preserved in a format widely accessible or convertible across software platforms, such as:

  • delimited text files (ideal choice)
  • data files for common statistical packages
  • widely employed formats like Microsoft Excel spreadsheets¬†

When qualitative, data also should be in a widely-readable format. In both cases, inventory the files and their contents.

Statistical Code


  • any code used to transform raw data into the final format used for analysis
  • any code used to perform the data analysis


A codebook will contain the array of responses for each variable, as well as a history of all conversions or alterations.

Surveys & Procedures

When data is originally generated, provide the instruments of data production. These may take the form of the following:

  • surveys
  • experimental design procedures
  • other similar documents

Models & Papers

In cases where mathematical models or procedures are codified in academic papers, include these.

Consent Agreements

Include any consent agreements that are used to produce the sample