Long-term preservation of research datasets (PAS)

Long-term preservation (PAS, from the Finnish pitkäaikaissäilytys) is the process of preserving digital information for several decades or even centuries.
Most valuable datasets are accepted into the PAS service

PAS is a curated service, which means that datasets will have to undergo a selection process. In this process, the value of the datasets and their technical suitability for long-term preservation is assessed.

Datasets are stored in the PAS service in static form. In cases where datasets already in the PAS service are updated, new data versions can be uploaded to supplement the existing ones.

If you have any questions regarding the long-term preservation of research datasets, please contact Data Support: datasupport@helsinki.fi.

Stages of the process

To offer a dataset for long-term preservation, please contact Data Support: datasupport@helsinki.fi. In your message, you should briefly describe the data and include the following information:

  1. In which research project the data has been created,
  2. Where the data is currently located and
  3. Who is responsible for the data.

Alternatively, you can fill this elomake. After this, we will set up an initial meeting.

Data Support checks issues to do with data protection, consulting the legal department if necessary. If the dataset has not been published elsewhere, a transfer of rights agreement must be signed.

With rights agreement, the researcher shares the ownership rights with the University of Helsinki. This ensures that the dataset can continue to be managed, even decades later.

The researcher presents the dataset documentation and metadata to Data Support.

Datasets stored in the PAS service must be self-explanatory. The sufficiency of documentation will be checked in cooperation with researchers and metadata experts in Data Support. This will be done using this document as a guideline: Making a research project understandable - Guide for data documentation. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1914401

The decision whether the dataset is accepted for storage in the long-term preservation service is made by the scientific research committee of each faculty. The committee bases its decision primarily on the scientific value of the dataset. The researcher responsible for the dataset briefly introduces the data to the committee.

Guidelines for determining the value of the dataset:

 Digital Preservation (Fairdata-PAS): Guidelines for UH Evaluators (in Zenodo)

When the dataset is accepted for preservation, its metadata is completed by the researchers. Data Support helps the researcher in filling in the necessary metadata fields. Finally, the dataset is ready to be migrated to the long-term preservation service.