Deposit Appraisal & Collection Policy

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Collection development policy

The ADA collection policy aims to provide researchers with general guidance around the types of data that the ADA will accept for curation, preservation and subsequent dissemination. Research material submitted to the ADA should support the Archive's mission and scope and meet the needs of the user community.

See the deposit quick guide for steps involved in lodging data with the ADA. This guide will help to ensure that data and metadata are sufficient for long-term preservation and for dissemination.

Submission appraisal criteria

Research materials submitted to the ADA that meet the following criteria will be prioritised for acceptance in the ADA collection.

Remit of the ADA: The ADA accepts materials that fit broadly into the remit of the archive.

Social science DDI metadata: Materials should be able to be described with social science DDI metadata. Adherence to this metadata scheme will be assessed via the completeness of the avaiable metadata fields on ADA Dataverse.

Scientific or historic value: Materials must be of current value or potential historical interest to the ADA.

Subject matter: The subject matter of submitted materials should be in either the Social, Political or Economic areas, and affiliated research fields.

Complete data: Where possible, full project data is preferred, not just the data associated with a publication release or any other subset of the data available.

Secondary analysis: Materials must have the potential for secondary analysis using the data and supporting documentation. All materials must be made publicly available with transparent access criteria.

Out of scope materials

In the event that the ADA determines that the material is not suitable for archiving, it will endeavour to provide the Data Owner with other potential archives that are more suited to the subject matter. The final decision about acceptance of a submission lies with the director or deputy director of the ADA.

Digital materials: The ADA will only accept digital materials.

Insufficient metadata: Materials submitted may not be accepted if the metadata provided is insufficient for long-term preservation. This includes the social science DDI metadata on ADA Dataverse, as well as names and labels for all files submitted and all data variables. The ADA will work with depositors to ensure metadata is complete at all levels.

Explicit or offensive content: Materials that contain explicit or offensive material.

Limited secondary use potential: Materials that offer limited or no potential for secondary analysis will not be considered favorably.

Disclosure risk: Materials that pose significant risk of re-identification that cannot be sufficiently addressed.

Preferred data formats

Submission formats: For tabular data files, the ADA prefers submission in SPSS format (.sav files). This format readily captures variable level metadata (variable and value labels, data formats etc.) and SPSS Statistics is adept at exporting multiple alternative file formats. The ADA also accepts Stata (.dta) SAS (.sas; .sas7bdat), and R (.rdata), as well as text formats (.csv; .tab) provided versions of the data including both value labels and codes can be provided. Other data formats will be considered on a case by case basis.

Dissemination formats: For dissemination, the ADA will create SPSS, STATA, SAS and CSV versions for quantitative data.

Qualitative data: For qualitative data, data formats vary significantly and submitted formats will be considered on a case by case basis.

Preservation formats: All data and documents will be saved in a preservation format. See Preservation plan section for details.