Data Inheritance



This article presents information and a template to begin planning on how your FirstVoices project and its related data will be inherited or carried over to new team members or groups working on the same community site.


What is data inheritance?

Data inheritance is the process of passing collections of files (recordings, word lists, etc.) to a colleague or family member who intends to store or continue the work. The process of data inheritance is important because when done successfully, it increases the longevity of the project and ensures the materials that are created are maintained (e.g. preventing bit rot). Data inheritance is also more likely to lead to the valuable information gathered through your project being shared with learners and contributing to language revitalization in your community for years to come.

Planning for data inheritance

Planning for data inheritance is nearly as important as data inheritance itself.

Without a plan in place, an opportunity for data inheritance can be made difficult or can be missed altogether.

Scroll down and see some steps in creating a data inheritance process:

How does data inheritance happen?

This graphic gives an outline of an ideal sequence in data inheritance. We have also created a word doc template that gives an example of a more detailed plan, and the space to create your own. We invite you to download this template and consider implementing a data inheritance plan that suits your project's needs.

Before completing your data inheritance planning template, it is important to read about file naming conventions and file management systems

If you are dealing with archival materials, we also recommend reading further about archival acquisition and donor agreements

Additional Resource

This template can be a draft for you to make an inheritance plan with a pre-filled demo: