This guide aims to help UK Higher Education Institutions aid their researchers in making informed choices about what research data to keep.
It will be relevant to researchers making decisions on a project-by-project basis, or formulating departmental guidelines. It assumes that decisions on particular datasets will normally be made by researchers with advice from the appropriate staff (e.g. academic liaison librarians) and taking into account any institutional policy on Research Data Management (RDM) and guidance available within their own domain.
Step 1. Identify purposes that the data could fulfill
Step 2. Identify data that must be kept
Step 3. Identify data that should be kept
Step 4. Weigh up the costs
Step 5. Complete the data appraisal
The final step is to weigh the value of the data and any costs still to be incurred, "considering the long-terms aims, the qualities you identified, the time and money already invested in it and the risks of being unable to prepare any ‘must keep’ data for preservation."