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Data Management for Agriculture: Archiving & Preservation

Resources and tips for managing agricultural and environmental data.

Table of Contents

File Types

Long after some software packages are gone, reading your data files may be difficult or impossible. You can help reduce the obscelence of your data files by using file types that are designed for long-term access. The following file types are preferrable over proprietary software-specfic file types:

A. Text Files

PDF/A
TXT
XML
RTF

Not: MS Word

B. Numerical Files

CSV
ASC

Not: MS Excel

C. Video Files

MPEG-4

Not: Quicktime

D. Image Files

TIFF
JPEG2000

Not: GIF, JPG

E. Audio Files

WAV

Not: mp3

Archiving & Preservation

Long-term retention of unique scientific data sets is essential for making progress in science. Data archiving and preservation ensure that data are protected, identifiable, and useful into the indefinite future. 

Unique Persistent Identifiers

An important step in the archiving process is establishing unique persistent identifiers (PIDs) for data sets. PIDs should allow data sets to be easily located, identified, and cited. There are a number of types of PIDs, however, UT Libraries encourage the use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and can assign a DOI to your data.

Contact our Data Curation Librarian (ceaker@utk.edu) for more information on DOIs.

Data Repositories

Data repositories are available to help you archive and preserve your data. Data repositories are also a great way to share your data with the larger scientific community. Below is a list of data repositories that may be appropriate for your data.

Best Practices

Check out  's best practices for archiving and preserving your data. 

Discover more data management best practices.

Looking for Data?

There are a number of data repositories out there with free, open access to all types of data. Search for these repositories using the following databases: