(Apologies to The Clash for the mangling of the song title.)
Today I am cleaning out my office, and deciding what I can recycle, what needs to be left for the person replacing me, and what I need to haul off to my new office.
I’m finding lots of stuff that is difficult to classify. Should I save that 1995 rejected NSF grant that was approved, but not funded? I might want to re-submit it….someday. Then there’s the 18 years of student teaching evaluations. They are quite good…but do I need to save them all?
Since I am in a term position that might–or might not–be renewed in 3 years, I am leaning towards saving it all. But, DAMN, it’s a lot of stuff!
And what do I do with all the paper copies of papers I’ve cited, or plan to cite someday. Do I chuck them and decide to just hunt them down electronically in the future? I don’t have them all indexed.
Lastly, I am leaving behind books–again–which is always difficult. But it’s probably a good thing I move periodically, since otherwise I’d cart a million books around with me.
Any thoughts or advice from other scientists?
And how long do you keep your data from old work that’s been published? Forever? 10 yrs?