Library:Research Data/Store

From UBC Wiki

It is crucial to ensure the safety of your data. Replacing it could be time-consuming, costly, or even impossible. When creating a data management plan you should consider the approximate volume of data your project will require early on and plan ahead for how you will back it up. If you are submitting a funding proposal you might want to include costs for data storage. You should always take measures to protect yourself from experiencing a disaster scenario such as losing the only copy of your data due to a hard-drive failure or a lost memory stick.

Planning ahead to back up your files will make the process simple and can ensure you don’t experience an avoidable disaster! It will also ensure that your data can be used by other researchers in the future. Three copies of your data are recommended: the original, a copy kept on a local external device, and a copy kept on a remote external device. Planning the security of your data prevents unwanted damage or modification, theft, breaches of confidentiality or privacy, releasing your data before it is ready.

Types of Storage Devices

Networked Drives

  • These are managed centrally or by your educational institution. You can back up your research data on fileservers managed by your research group or school, fileservers managed by Information Services, or a Storage Area Network (SAN). This is a good place to keep at least one copy of your master data files.

Personal Computers and Laptops

  • These are convenient but should not contain the master copies of your data. The drives may fail or the device could be lost or stolen.

External Storage Devices

  • These devices include USB flash drives, Compact Discs (CDs) and Digital Video Discs (DVDs). These are inexpensive and highly portable but they may not have a long life. They can be easily damaged, misplaced or lost, the information on them can become corrupted and writing to a CD or DVD can result in errors, and they may not be big enough to fit all your data or pose a security risk.

Cloud Storage

  • Storing your data online (i.e. Dropbox,,,, could be advantageous. Cloud storage programs can run in the background and continuously back up and encrypt your files.
  • Make sure you have considered any possible issues regarding property rights, copyright, data protection licences or privacy when choosing where to store data online. Other issues to consider is the fact that space may be limited, restoration may be slow, and the service provider could go out of business (e.g. Google Reader)