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Should a data archive/repository accept data that does not need to be preserved permanently? Can items that have been deposited into an archive/repository for preservation for a period of 10-20 years be disposed of when the retention period expires?

Cynthia.Hudson-Vitale's picture
There are many factors that affect what type of data to collect and preserve and how long data should be retained. These factors include any funding mandates, institutional policies, research community standards and publishing requirements. Data should be retained and preserved for the required length of time and then action should be taken based upon your University Repository collection and preservation policies. Some University Libraries are stating they will retain data for 10 years and then treat it as a collection that is curated and accessioned or deaccessioned by subject experts (see University of Minnesota Preservation Policy:; others will retain or not retain the data in compliance with University data management policies (Purdue University Preservation Policy:; others state they will keep the data indefinitely. The key here is that the data repository HAVE a retention policy of some kind and that the policy is well communicated. There is no single rule for every data set or every repository. Each institution must negotiate this for itself and disposing of an item after the expiration of the retention period is a valid consideration.