Follow best practice when creating, organising and managing data to maintain preservation.

It is important to ensure your research process can be understood and interpreted by users in the future.

This requires high quality capture, documentation, description, technical information and contextual information, to make sense of that data.


Metadata schemas are used to record these details.There are a range of metadata schemas and standards relevant for specific fields of research.

Recording key information is an important step in the process of data creation, collection and documentation.

This link provides a general recommended approach to compiling metadata.


Specific examples include:


The Dublin Metadata Core Element Set (Dublin Core) is a recognised standard with essential fields that can be adapted for specific disciplines.

Dublin Core is a set of 15 descriptive elements used to provide a simple means of describing digital objects to facilitate discovery and retrieval in internet searches.




Museums and Galleries use a range of other standards and schemas for archival description, works of art, and documentation of art objects including :

VRA Core

VRA core (Library of Congress) is a data standard (used in Galleries/ Museums) for the description of works of visual culture- art, film, performance, print culture) as well as images that document them.


ISAD (G) General International Standard Archival Description- used in Archives for collections of original materials.  


Controlled Vocabularies are used in discipline specific standards to facilitate discovery of content.

The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (Getty Vocabularies ) is a controlled vocabulary used for describing art, architecture, and material culture. The Getty vocabularies are constructed to allow maximum discovery through Linked Open Data.



On completion of a research project or the end of a defined phase, a number of decisions have to be made

  • What data do we want to keep for the future?

  • How do we decide what is likely to be useful (for example, for possible reuse in other projects?)

  • In what form should the data be retained?



Technology is constantly changing and as new digital formats emerge it is important that accessibility of data be as important a consideration as proactively planning for hardware and software obsolescence.

Formats more likely to be accessible in the future are open (non proprietary)


Guides to current open robust file formats:

UK Data Archive  

Australian National Data Service


 Robert Andrew  Corrupting The Linear  2016. Technology, aluminium, string and rocks.

Robert Andrew Corrupting The Linear 2016. Technology, aluminium, string and rocks.