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Most of February has been spent reviewing the literature on digital preservation and looking for existing training materials. I concentrated on work that would be relevant to the social sciences and humanities since this is where LSE concentrates its research efforts.  Although I am still waiting for some information from the UK Data Archive, I think the Review is sufficiently complete to make a draft of the review publicly available.

The recommendations are in 2 parts: the project specifically; LSE more generally.

Recommendations for the project:

  1. The development of learning resources for digital data preservation should be within a framework of research data management planning although there will also be a need to integrate material within an existing course structure.
  2. Don’t just talk about research data.  Some researchers aren’t comfortable using this term, so we will use “research material and data”.
  3. We will avoid defining this term too tightly but take an approach that lets the researcher decide what is and isn’t relevant to preservation.

Recommendations for LSE:

  1. Recognise that training in preservation of digital research data is only part of a larger need for data management planning.  This will mean the development/adaptation of resources to train researchers in DMP.
  2. As soon as we start raising awareness of the need for the preservation of research material and data, researchers will ask “where can we store our stuff?”  The LSE will need to plan for an institutional repository for research material and data to complement national archives.
  3. Researchers will also ask “what files formats should we store our stuff in?”  This prompts the need for some development of policies or at least interim guidelines in anticipation.

Next: a survey of research students and research-active staff…

[Posted by MR]