Paste Special is a great feature. Copy something, then go to a different spreadsheet sheet, or a different OpenOffice.org, and choose Edit > Paste Special. (Or Ctrl Shift V.) You get these options.
If you're pasting a spreadsheet to a spreadsheet
If you're pasting a spreadsheet to a text doc
If you're pasting a text doc to a text doc, or a text doc to a spreadsheet
If you select the Link option in spreadsheet-to-spreadsheet, or the DDE Link option when pasting any other time, you get a connection between the pasted from doc and the pasted into doc. When what you originally copied changes, then the pasted version of it changes, too.
This continues to work unless somebody deletes, renames, or otherwise messes with the original file you copied.
Unfortunately, if this happens, there's no big red flag waving to tell you. The data is still there; the link is just lost.
Here's how to check to see if the link is still working. Choose Edit > Links.
If you see links listed there, they're working and nobody has messed up the name or location of the original file.
If the the Links option is dimmed, or if a link to the file you're checking on isn't listed, then the link is broken and you need to do Paste Special, Link again to make the pasted data update when the original data does.