In data management, data preservation is the process of maintaining access to data so that it can still be found, understood and used in the future.
Why preservation goes beyond (immediate) storage issues
Storage media (particularly portable) is at risk of degrading and materials being lost.
Backing-up means keeping data available in the short term but saving your data in one or more places does not guarantee its longevity. Preservation means active management in the long-term.
Your data may become incompatible with future software File format changes, making them unreadable.
Data may become unintelligible if no supporting documentation has survived.
Files may be altered when opened with new software so that they are no longer be understandable or reliable for continued research.
Funders now require preservation of data for 10+ years.
Access control needs to be considered to ensure that final versions of data are not changed, accidentally or deliberately.
This useful chapter from the Digital Curation Centre outlines how to preserve data
"De Montfort University is committed to research excellence and integrity and seeks to promote high standards of research data management throughout the research data lifecycle."