HOW WE CURATE DATA
ARCHIVE TRAINING MANUAL
INGEST / OVERVIEW
Activities during ingest ensure that data are made ready for long-term preservation and that a high quality data package can be served to users.
Ingest is one of the functional areas of the OAIS model, and is defined in the Reference Model documentation as:
"The OAIS functional entity that contains the services and functions that accept Submission Information Packages from Producers, prepares Archival Information Packages for storage, and ensures that Archival Information Packages and their supporting Descriptive Information become established within the OAIS."
Within this functional area is the transformation of the deposited information package (Submission Information Package in OAIS terms) into an information package that will be kept in archival storage (the Archival Information Package). Ingest can involve, as in the case of the UK Data Archive, a considerable amount of human mediated processing and data expertise. Activities at this stage ultimately ensure that data is ready for long-term preservation and that a high quality data package is served to users.
Documentation of ingest processes is an important requirement for any archive hoping to meet the Data Seal of Approval requirements. The UK Data Archive has produced a quick reference processing guide which provides a condensed account of ingest procedures. Similarly, the Slovenian Social Science Data Archives has a high level summary available.
'How to set up and run a data service' workshop presentation
Skills for ingest staff
The following may be viewed as important skills for ingest staff:
- experience with statistical software packages, such as SPSS
- a good understanding of basic social science [or related] concepts and statistical methods
- knowledge and experience of relevant international standards in data service provision
- a background in quantitative social science, and a good understanding of the data user's perspective
- for handling qualitative data, knowledge of CAQDAS packages and anonymisation techniques
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