Why save documents?

One sometimes stumbles across the incorrect opinion that only the results of research are worth keeping on file, i.e. the final report. In reality, there are several reasons for why one should keep the related underlying documentation:

  • So that it be possible to make a scientific appraisal of the results
  • For citizens' insight into the research
  • So that it be possible to re-utilise the research material in new studies
  • For scientific historical research
  • For society's planning and reforms
Which documents and items should be saved?
It is difficult to list in detail the items that should be saved in a research project, due to that the different orientations of research produce different kinds of documentation. Examples of types of documentation that should be saved for the future are as follows:
  • Minutes and similar notes from meetings
  • Applications for and decisions regarding approved funds
  • Laboratory or other project logbooks
  • Final report and other reports and papers
  • Final financial report
  • Important correspondence (letters, e-mails, faxes)
  • Primary materials assembled through experiments, measurements, surveys, interviews, etc. that could only be recreated with considerable difficulty
Dan Holfve, University Archivist

Published: Tue 08 Nov 2016. Modified: Sun 26 Mar 2017