Item of the term

Michaelmas 2012

How to send your research into the future


From November 2011 to July 2012 the DSpace@Cambridge team conducted a JISC funded project, PrePARe, studying attitudes, experiences and needs in digital management and preservation issues of researchers across the University of Cambridge.

It found that although scholars wanted to protect their digital legacy, either a lack of guidance or simply not having the time often meant that digital preservation was treated as a low priority.

As a result from the findings new online resources have been created, training modules are being integrated into the University’s graduate training provision, and a cross-disciplinary seminar series has been organised.


New resources aim to advise on good practice and to raise awareness of digital preservation generally and are centred around four key signposts: 'Store it safely', 'Explain it', 'Share it' and 'Start early'.

All documentation and outputs are listed on the PrePARe project pages. They are also made available through the University Library’s data management pages and DSpace@Cambridge.

To request training or copies of the brochure (diplayed on the right) please contact us.

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How to send your research into the future

Store it safely: to prevent data loss, make multiple copies, save them onto different types of storage media and store themin different locations

Explain it: provide contextual information with each file, making it findable for yourself and others, and explain acronyms and jargon but also the purpose and parameters of your research

Share it: widen the impact of your research by using repositories or data centres for archiving your material. You can control access, redact or embargo material if that is most appropriate for the material.

Start early: get into good habits early – make a plan for how to manage your research materials. Using appropriate file formats, organising and documenting files and obtaining necessary permissions over the course of the project will save you time later.