Preserving Data

Data preservation and archiving is required by many grant funding agencies (for an overview of these guidelines, see data management plans). One solution to preserving data for the long-term is to use a repository service, such as Merritt.

About Merritt

Merritt ( is an online, permanent data repository set up by the University of California Curation Center (UC3). It provides a way for UC-affiliated researchers to easily store their data in an accessible manner. See the Merritt handout ( for a brief overview; for questions, contact

Merritt gives you a commitment to long-term preservation backed up by UC3 and the California Digital Library; persistent, automatically-generated unique identifiers for uploaded objects; a web-based interface or API for uploading; versioning and validation; accessibility that meets grant data sharing requirements; and cost-effective storage without worrying about setting up a local solution.

There is no service fee to use Merritt; the current storage fee for UC affiliates is $1.04/GB/year. You can submit any type of file to Merritt, including images, videos, texts, datasets and more.

To use Merritt:

  • First, contact UC3 for a login: email Perry Willett at
  • There are three ways to upload data — through the web user interface (manual, best for small uploads); METS feeder (for existing users of the older CDL digital preservation system); and API (automatic, best for large uploads).
  • Uploaded files can be single objects, multiple objects under one wrapper (i.e. .zip or .tar files), or manifests describing single or multiple files. For more information about file types, see the user guide (
  • You can provide metadata for files in a variety of ways; at a minimum you should provide file title, author, creation date and local id (an identifier that will be meaningful in your local system).
  • All data in Merritt receives a unique ARK identifier — you can provide this or it will be automatically assigned. Objects can also receive DOIs from Datacite.
  • Once uploaded, you will receive two confirmations from Merritt: once on receipt and once when data is finished processing. Once uploaded and processed, objects will then be retrievable by title keywords, author or ID. If you upload a new version of the file or metadata, a new version is recorded in Merritt.

For help, contact or a local data management plan specialist at the UC Davis libraries:

  • Phoebe Ayers:
    Physical Sciences and Engineering Librarian (Main Campus)
  • Raquel Abad:
    Health Sciences Librarian (Blaisdell Medical Library, Sacramento)
  • Deanna Johnson:
    Health Sciences Librarian (Carlson Health Sciences Library)
  • Ruth Gustafson:
    Biological and Agricultural Sciences Librarian