1. To ensure your data is accessible for the long-term, consider saving a copy of your data in a non-proprietary, commonly-accessible format. (learn more...)
2. Keep a record of how you produced the data and store it in a text file in the same directory as the data. (learn more...)
3. Use a folder/directory structure with a clear, documented naming scheme.
5. Remember: Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe! Keep 3 copies of your data in geographically distributed locations. (learn more...)
Check out DAAC for more information on how data collectors and providers can improve the usability of their data sets
Describe the format of your data and how it will be "documented". Think about what details someone else would need to be able to use these files. For example, you may need a "readme file" to explain variables, structure of the files, etc. (This type of information is commonly referred to as "metadata").
Consider these questions:
Metadata is the descriptive information about your data, which is crucial to enabling the analysis and re-creation of experiments. Metadata includes information collected during the creation of the data (i.e. the instrumentation being used, date the data was collected, who collected the data, etc.) and the standard information needed for others to retrieve and reuse the data. Metadata standards vary by discipline.