In accordance with the Preservation Policy for the Research Collection, research data are archived for the long-term in the ETH Data Archive with the exception of research data published via the libdrive service.

Before publication the Research Collection team can evaluate your data regarding its suitability for long-term usability. Ensuring long-term usability is an important aspect of making the published research data FAIR. To request this, please select the checkbox "Ensure long-term usability" on the "Upload" tab when creating a new entry for research data in the Research Collection:

View Checkbox Ensure long-term usability

After you have completed your submission, the Research Collection team will review file formats and additional requirements for long-term usability (see below). The Research Collection team will then give you a recommendation.

We recommend that you first check the research data yourself for the following long-term usability requirements.

Use of recommended file formats 

To ensure long term usability of your research data it's required to use file formats that can be kept readable over the long term. Please use the formats from our list of recommendations: File formats for archiving research data

When the check of suitability for long-term usability is requested during the publication process (see above), the Research Collection team evaluates the file formats of the research data and makes a file format recommendation. The submitter is responsible for replacing the unsuitable or partially suitable files (cf. Replace full texts/datasets). 

Additional requirements for long-term usability

In addition to the use of recommended file formats, there are additional requirements for long-term usability. Those additional requirements are also mentioned on the page Prepare your research data for publication.

Formal requirements

The following formal criteria are evaluated by the Research Collection team:

  • Structure and description of the dataset:
    • The research data contains a readme file that follows the recommendations outlined in the manual Research Collection (see How to write a "Readme" file). 
    • The uploaded data is edited and structured in a meaningful and descriptive way (e.g. folder structure)
    • The entry in the Research Collection contains metadata that describes the content of the data. Research data with program code/scripts or software specifies the method, version and name of the used software as additional metadata.
  • References to other publications: The research data entry in the Research Collection is linked to the associated publications (article or other publication).
  • External links: Persistent identifiers (e.g. DOI) are used when referencing external resources. Links without a persistent identifier (e.g. DOI) can be problematic for long-term usability, as there is no guarantee that these external resources will be available in the long term.
  • Use of ORCID iD as ETH members: We recommend that all ETH members use the ORCID iD. By assigning the ORCID iDs of all involved ETH members, they can be clearly identified as contributors of the dataset. The Research Collection Team can still contact you and/or, if applicable, other contributing ETH members even after your employment at ETH Zurich has ended (e.g., for access requests for restricted datasets). Instructions for assigning the ORCID iD can be found at Assign ORCID iD.
  • License: The research data is published under an open license:

Quality of data and data descriptions

In order to ensure reusability over the long term, it is important to not only comply with certain formal standards and requirements, but also to provide good quality datasets as well as high-quality and extensive descriptions of these datasets that enable future researchers to make sense of your data. While the assessment of the Research Collection team focuses on formal requirements, it remains in the responsibility of the submitter to make sure that the content-related quality standards for a reusable dataset are also met. Therefore, the final assessment whether a dataset fullfills all criteria for long-term preservation as specified in Preservation Level 3 according to our Preservation Policy for the Research Collection will always have to be done by the submitters themselves and/or their peers that have actually downloaded and reused the data. The Research Collection team provides guidande in this process but does not assesss dataset quality in all its aspects.

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