Preservation means following procedures to keep data files for an extended period of time by choosing durable formats, archiving files locally, and/or submitting data files to a data repository.
Data preservation refers to maintaining access to data and files over time. For data to be preserved, at minimum, it must be stored in a secure location, stored across multiple locations, and saved in file formats that will likely have the greatest utility in the future:
Data preservation may seem like a lot of work, but there’s good news! A lot of institutions run data repositories, which support the preservation and discovery of research data. Find out if your discipline has a data repository, and check out the Illinois Data Bank where many researchers on campus have preserved and shared their data. This isn’t a complete list, so be sure to check with your subject librarian for more help.