The Roper Center’s comprehensive Data Curation Program ensures that the largest collection of polling data in the world will be preserved and made accessible for the long term. Data curation at the Roper Center encompasses all activities that are required to ensure the utility and authenticity of public opinion data, maintain its accessibility, and mitigate and/or reverse the effects of hardware and software obsolescence and media decay. Our staff is experienced in data processing and is dedicated to adding value to archived data by enhancing them with meaningful information, making them complete, usable, and independently understandable for future researchers.

The Roper Center’s processing and preservation practices are based on the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) produced by the NASA Consultative Committee for Space Systems [1]. The OAIS Reference Model is an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard that provides a framework for managing and preserving digital objects in archival repositories. The Roper Center’s processing functions align with the OAIS functional model:

Processing Workflow

The Roper Center processing workflow is a continuous cycle of six different phases.  During each phase, staff members use their extensive training and expertise in data management, metadata standards, and archival practices to ensure advancement of the Roper Center’s mission.  For more details, view this Detailed Processing Workflow Diagram.

 Roper Center basic Processing Workflow chart

Phases Example practices and procedures


-Identify studies for inclusion in the Roper Center’s Archives
-Assess methodological study information for compliance with our Acquisition Policy


-Review deposited materials for completeness, including files and data deposit form
-Prepare original materials for storage through normalization of born-digital materials and digitization of analog material
-Implement version control procedures

Metadata Enhancement

-Create Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) compliant metadata records
-Assign standardized topics for easy discovery
-Capture methodological information, weighting procedures, and question-level details

Data Quality Review

-Evaluate data and documentation for completeness and consistency
-Conduct cleaning operations for missing, invalid, or out of range codes
-Improve labeling of variables and values within files
Protect Respondent’s Confidentiality through practices including de-identification, statistical disclosure control, and usage restriction

Preservation & Storage

-Commitment to long-term preservation practices through the Center’s Preservation Policy
-Active and on-going file format migration
-Implement replicated storage and backup solutions
-Continuous check of file fixity and integrity

Access & Reuse

-Increase visibility to the research community
-Include in discovery and analysis tools: iPOLL, RoperExpress, RoperExplorer
-Generate citations for all study material

[1] CCSDS, Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS): Recommended Practice,