Guidelines help researchers understand data quality

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A new set of guidelines, released by SURFfoundation in the Netherlands, should help researchers to decide what data to preserve and how long to preserve it for.

The guidelines are based on three studies that looked at how researchers deal with research data and how they store and share it. All three studies concluded that it is extremely important to consider at an early stage of a research project how the data generated will be preserved. Researchers need to decide early on what data they will preserve and why. That applies even if they do not know at the start of the project what they can do or want to do with the data, say the guidelines. A checklist within the guidelines should help researchers with these decisions.

The studies were carried out by DANS together with 3TU Data Centre, Leiden University, and the International Institute of Social History (IISG) (an institute forming part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, KNAW).