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Hunter Library
Research Guides
Western Carolina University

Data Management & Dissemination


Data storage has two phases, working and archive. Each phase has a different purpose and audience and should be planned thoughtfully.

Working storage

The working storage phase encompasses active data collection and analysis. During your research, the primary needs of data storage are accessibility, reliability, and safety. You and your research team should be able to access the data you're collecting and analyzing easily. To help ensure that your data remains accessible, your storage options should be reliable and redundant. You will also want to make sure that any sensitive data is stored according to University protocol

Archive storage

The archive storage phase begins once you have completed your research and are no longer collecting or analyzing your data. After your research, the primary needs of data storage are preservation and accessibility. Archiving and preservation of research data is a core element of contributing to the scholarly record and enabling research to be evaluated, replicated, and built upon. Many research funding agencies and publishers now require that the research data produced by a sponsored project or associated with a publication be placed into a repository for long-term discovery, access, and use. 

Follow the links on the left side of the page to learn more about considerations for working and archive storage and WCU support for each phase.

"Archive storage" content adapted from Digital Data Management, Curation, and Archiving by University of New Mexico University Libraries, licensed CC BY 4.0.