Data Preservation and Archiving

There are three primary stakeholders in the data archiving process - content creators (researchers producing data), information-seekers (users trying to access data), and data curators (the people stewarding data and brokering data exchange). These stakeholders often have competing interests. Content creators typically want to deposit data quickly, without migrating datasets, writing new documentation, or providing additional information. Information-seekers typically want to access data immediately, in a widely-used format, with ample documentation. Data curators typically want to archive data in the most reliable, persistent, lossless format with an abundance of relevant documentation and additional information.

Different repositories offer interfaces, services, and policies that meet the needs of these stakeholders to varying degrees. To evaluate a repository’s credibility, look at its funding sources, partner institutions, and policies. Data housed in the repository should be discoverable, accessible, clearly licensed, usable, and uniquely identifiable - ideally with a common identifier like a DOI. Many organizations have attempted to evaluate and curate lists of repositories. One organization, DANS, developed a Data Seal of Approval given to repositories that met guidelines established by international consensus. A list of repositories that have received this seal may be found here.

At Berkeley, we recommend that you choose to deposit your data in a suitable domain repository (that is, a repository specifically created for your field), in the UC data repository using the simple Dryad interface, or in both. Depositing in both is recommended if your domain repository of choice does not issue a unique identifier. One advantage to depositing with Dryad is that you are provided with a DOI that you can use to point to your data from other locations, like eScholarship or your personal website. To select a domain repository that is right for you, visit re3data and browse repositories in your field.

Other places to look for domain repositories include: OpenDOAR Open Access Directory's list

Consultants are available at to provide assistance.

Research data lifecycle: