What Not to Keep: Not All Data Has Future Research Value


  • Janice Yu Chen Kung University of Alberta
  • Sandy Campbell University of Alberta




health data, research data management, data curation, data preservation


The rise of academic library involvement in research data management has presented numerous challenges for academic libraries. While libraries and archives have always had collection development policies that defined what they would or would not collect, policies for selecting research data for preservation are in their infancy. This study surveyed and interviewed academic researchers. From this research an initial list of eight types of data were identified as research data that should not be preserved and made public by academic libraries and archives. These include research data that are sensitive or confidential, proprietary, easily replicable, do not have good metadata, are test, pilot or intermediate data, are bad or junk data, data that cannot be used by others for a variety of reasons, and older data that are not used and have no obvious cultural or historical value. Conclusions drawn from the study will help librarians and archivists make informed decisions about which types of research data are worth keeping.

Author Biography

Sandy Campbell, University of Alberta

Medical Librarian


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How to Cite

Kung, J. Y. C., & Campbell, S. (2016). What Not to Keep: Not All Data Has Future Research Value. Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association Journal De l’Association Des bibliothèques De La Santé Du Canada, 37(2). https://doi.org/10.5596/c16-013



Research Articles