Some excerpts from my thesis......
Background to the UK Data Archive
The UK Data Archive at the University of Essex is one of a worldwide network of data archives which had their origins in preserving and providing access to social science data for use by the academic community. Like many of these archives The Data Archive has expanded its role beyond social science data and it now services users outside of the academic community. It was established 30 years ago and is located at the University of Essex, a university with especial strengths in social science and economics. The Data Archive exists to promote wider and more informed use of data in research and teaching and to preserve these data so that they continue to be accessible over time. Its holdings are acquired from a wide variety of sources including central and local government, academia, independent research agencies and commercial sources such as market research agencies. Many of the activities of The Data Archive will be familiar to librarians and keepers of more conventional paper archives. They include:
- establishing user needs to determine what data should be acquired
- negotiating to acquire the data and to determine the conditions of access
- clarifying any confidentiality restrictions
- assisting data providers to create documentation required by secondary users
- validation of data and documentation
- supplementing documentation by adding information on format, media, conditions of access, and on the outcome of quality checks
- preservation of the data and documentation on different media and the establishment of a programme to check for data corruption, to refresh existing media and to migrate onto new media
- cataloguing and indexing by professional staff
- reformatting the data, digitising documentation and delivering data and documentation to users promoting use and supporting users.
DOES YOUR ORGANIZATION MANAGE THEIR DATA???