Data Management Strategies for the National Transportation Data Archive: Dealing with Legacy Data
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Data Management Strategies for the National Transportation Data Archive: Dealing with Legacy Data

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      The National Transportation Library (NTL) is currently working to expand the National Transportation Data Archive (NTDA). Recently, this work has focused on successfully implementing data management strategies for legacy datasets, such as the Omnibus Household Surveys (OHS). Improper data management took place at the time that OHS data was being collected, resulting in a variety of challenges associated with finding, managing, and preserving the data now. Data management is important at all stages of a data project. However, managing legacy data long after collection presents added challenges. These challenges include: sorting through files to locating the data and relevant documentation; deciphering file names; obtaining software to open files; and, migrating files into open access formats. Additionally, other companion documentation files need to be created, such as a data management plan (DMP), Readme file, and metadata file. Finally, datasets need to be assigned persistent identifiers. After all issues are ad-dressed a data package can be created for each dataset. Working with legacy data has reinforced NTL’s goal of developing and implementing a standard data management protocol to ensure that the proper steps are taken when the data is being created and not after the fact. This poster will review the challenges of managing legacy data after the fact, highlighting our efforts within the NTDA, and offer best practices for – and the benefits of – data management during the lifecycle of the data collection project.
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