Researchers September 17, 2020
Understanding the Cost of Long-Term Access to Research Data

For millennia, research has been one of the few things universally agreed upon as to its importance. Research is a long-term asset to knowledge, regardless of how old or outdated the theories and methodologies are. Scientific journals hold value because of their contents and how the information inside of them lets us view the societal expectations and understandings of the time period in which the article was written.

However, preserving and archiving all of this data, particularly today with the changes in how publishing has evolved, is not an easy endeavor. Electronic publishing sources make it easier than ever for researchers to get their work out to their audience, but preservation, archiving, storing, and allowing access to so many types of work is difficult to do. In order to keep the field of knowledge as accurate as possible, long-term access of all electronic and print articles is necessary, but there’s a cost to keeping scholastic data accessible that must be understood in order to create a framework that is feasible to everyone.

Arguments For and Against Long-term Storage

Most funding bodies require research data to be preserved, but they don’t always offer the financial backing to make this happen. Even with grants, funding for preservation and archiving of the data is only allowed to be using during the project’s timeline, which means once the work is published, nothing further is usually covered by the grant. These costs associated with allowing data to be accessed openly typically fall back to the researcher themselves.

Preservation of research data happens after the datasets are created and then finalized. The preservation itself starts once the project is finished and ready for publication. This financial obstacle is an argument against preserving all research, but proponents of keeping all scientific information accessible and available for long-term access argue that all articles, as long as they are legitimate sources of information, are integral to the whole picture and must be archived and kept available for future use.

Factors That Go Into the Cost of Accessing Research Data

As with all aspects that involve adjusting the infrastructure of institutions and libraries, to create a universal framework that can be used to preserve, archive, and access research data requires developing innovative, flexible models and guidelines that address a variety of factors in a way that is cost-effective for the long-term feasibleness of the project, including:

●      The economic aspect of the costs of the life-cycle of a dataset, including how it is acquired, the needs necessary to preserve it, and the cost factors involved in disseminating the knowledge to keep it accessible to the public

●      The costs that will be incurred to allow the work to be accessed and the consequences possible for taking access to the dataset away

●      Which datasets are considered to be of higher value than others and how those high-value determinations may have different economic impacts and costs

●      The costs of building the data collection processes, including creating and generating models as a framework of representation

●      Potential changes in technology over the short and long term future and how those could disrupt the way the framework is designed and the financial impacts that could occur

●      Costs necessary to educate the academic landscape in the adoption of data preservation and archiving processes

Because many of these factors have other unknown variables associated with them, this formulaic equation is not as easy to come up with in a way that can be universally agreed upon, particularly as far as determining who is responsible for the costs in the first place.

The one facet of the topic that is almost unanimously in agreement is that all knowledge should be available for long-term access, but actually implementing that into a regular practice may be a topic deliberated for many years.

Share Your Research with Impactio for Long-Term Impact

Another way to keep your work professional as you attempt to optimize your paper and get it ready for long-term preservation is to use the right program. To help you get your work to your audience and demonstrate authority on a subject no matter how long after publication your article is accessed, Impactio offers everything you, as an academic scholar, will need. When you need a program you can trust to make a long-term name for yourself, turn to Impactio.

Tags Research DataLong-Term ImpactResearch
About the author
Jason Collins- Writer
Jason is a writer for many niche brands with experience “bringing stories to life” for both startups and corporate partners.
Jason Collins
Jason is a writer for many niche brands with experience “bringing stories to life” for both startups and corporate partners.
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