Self-archiving to me is an oxymoron. The act of archiving involves an institutional commitment to preserve knowledge and culture beyond political and technological changes. In the case of research, data archives represent institutions dedicated to the long-term preservation of data. Ideally, data archiving is a process throughout the life cycle of research and involves the full range of contributors to a research project. While sole investigators still contribute to the overall output of research, increasingly research projects are organized around teams, especially research that is inter-disciplinary, comparative, multi-national and large in scale. Consequently, the idea of an individual being her or his own data archivist runs counter to the way major research is being performed nationally and internationally today.
The Preservation of Research Data in a Postmodern Culture IASSIST Quarterly Spring 2005