The Tombstone Protocol: An Undertaking for Unfortunate Events


Alexander Ball (2020), ‘The Tombstone Protocol: An Undertaking for Unfortunate Events’, in 15th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC20): "Collective Curation: the many hands that make data work", Croke Park, Dublin, 17–20 February 2020.

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The University of Bath operates a Research Data Archive through which it publishes mainly long-tail data underpinning published research. These datasets are assigned DOIs and we do our utmost to ensure that researchers quote those DOIs in their data access statements and reference lists. In the vast majority of cases, this works exactly as intended, but sometimes things go wrong.

Because of this, we realised we needed a comprehensive and considered set of procedures for dealing with the various ways the deposit process might go wrong. It also seemed like a good opportunity to prepare for the natural end-of-life for our datasets. Thus the Tombstone Protocol was born.


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