DHitMA: Preservation of Data Sources

In hoarding data, it is likely that most individuals will not consider the metadata of where they curated their data from. The most important piece of metadata for any data hoarder is the source of that piece of data. Most often, this is embodied in a Web URL. This essay shall remain brief, and implore the potential data hoarder to employ the following every time some piece of data (be it a Mega folder, a video, etc.) is saved and downloaded:

The below paragraphs contain links to outside websites and sources of data; we maintain that the individual must verify the links therein.

  1. Save the source (it is likely a URL) of each piece of data in a text file
  2. Put the current date (month and year shall suffice, but the day is preferable) in the text file as well
  3.  Either:

  4. Name this text file the exact same as the data name (keeping the .txt file extension, of course), to preserve the link between the two
  5. Or, create a folder, name it appropriately, and place both the text file and the piece of data within (in this case, the text file can simply be named source.txt)

It may seem fatuous to perform this operation each time some piece of data is hoarded; and for things like individual images, we agree that preservation of the sources is not necessary (unless some image is part of a curated collection of images with a source). However, the principal reason for doing so is so that the data may be shared with others in the future, without having to re-upload the data oneself. Additionally, preserving the link allows verification in the future of the data's existence or non-existence on the Web. But really, in hoarding data, one may consider the source as yet another piece of data that must simply tag along with its parent data. Such is why this piece of metadata is worthy of preservation.

If one takes interest in the preservation of metadata, then view this webpage: https://archivehistory.jeksite.org/chapters/chapter4.htm, or its archive: archive.is/nHugL. The topic of the article is the preservation of metadata for historical images, but please note that the techniques employed therein can be applied to any form of data.