Practically Extinct small

Data sets produced in the course of research but never shared or made available outside of the initial research team

Group: Research Outputs

Trend: New Entry

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Last update: 2019

Previous category: New Entry

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within 12 months, detailed assessment is now a priority

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

Loss seems likely: by the time tools or techniques have been developed the material will likely have been lost.


Unpublished research data

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Replication and documentation; data management plan; preservation pathway agreed

2019 Review

This is a subset of the ‘Unpublished Research Outputs’ reported in 2018, and which has since been into 4 entries to draw attention to the different preservation requirements and concerns that arise.  This entry relates specifically to research data which has not been shared or published by any means and is thus in contravention of the ‘FAIR’ principles which require data to be Findable Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.  Without appropriate planning, research data can have a high barrier to re-use, especially where documentation is lacking.  There have been numerous attempts over the years to address the risk of data loss, and it is the Jury’s hope that this is a now a small group. The Jury takes the view that documentation and re-use go hand in hand, and that researchers should be under no illusions that data not documented or shared faces material and immediate risks of extinction.

Additional Jury Comments

A worry if this includes data that is unfavourable and has intentionally not been published.

This is a wide field so the scale and impact is heard to describe; but the risk is higher than with papers due to potential file format complexity.

Advocacy and research is needed to establish the scale of the problem, as well as education regarding open science and preservation. Simplified tools and workflows to move data from CRIS to Repository to Preservation.

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