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Appropriate storage and regular backups help you to protect your data over time.
The choice of where you keep your digital copies depends on any commercial, ethical or cultural restrictions on your data. The Massey University Code of Responsible Research Conduct (p. 9) says that when storing research records and data, give consideration to:
Always take a risk management approach when making storage decisions. For example, if your data cannot be recreated in the event of loss, is sensitive, or must be kept long term, then quality storage is crucial. More information on what data must be kept
Data security includes network security, physical security, and computer files and systems security.
Backup means to create additional copies of your ‘live’ or ‘working’ data, and store them in separate locations from your working data. Backing up your data is essential to avoid the risk of loss through accidental deletion, hard-drive failure, theft or damage of equipment.
Set up a regular schedule to back up your data and follow it to the best of your ability.
Three golden rules for backup are:
Massey's Information Technology Services: learning resources for students (includes a section on smart approaches to securing, managing, and accessing your information)
Talk to Information Technology Services (ITS) at the start of your project. Tell them your data storage needs and time frames and they will make a suitable data storage recommendation.
ITS offers network disk space allocations for critical research data for schools and individuals.
Network disk space is available for the duration of your study or employment at Massey University. Disk space limits are negotiable; generally, ITS allocate around 10TB per eResearch application. If you believe you will generate more than this, ITS will advise you on your options.
Data saved to Massey University’s network is:
Do not store personal content on your network disk space.
Portable storage media include USB sticks, smart phones, CDs etc. Only use portable storage media as temporary storage for file transfer; for security reasons do not use portable storage media for permanent storage. ITS cannot provide support if data stored on portable media becomes corrupted or otherwise inaccessible.
External hard drives can be a good choice for backing up your data. Keep them in a relatively safe location, such as your office or at a trusted friend’s house.
Cloud storage services are storage services provided over the Internet via the provider’s servers. Be careful when storing sensitive research data on free, cloud-based storage solutions such as DropBox or GoogleDocs, as they may not meet ethical requirements.
When entering agreements with cloud storage providers make sure you’ve addressed risks associated with security, privacy and your ability to maintain access to your data should service providers close down or change owners.
ITS cannot currently offer a cloud storage service, and cannot provide support (i.e. restore or backup) should something go wrong with data stored in an external cloud service.
Deposit your finalised datasets in an archive or repository.
Publish and Share your Research Data - scroll down to the Ways to Share and Publish heading to find out more.
High Performance Computing (HPC) involves the use of supercomputers, parallel computing and/or computer clusters for advanced computing tasks including modelling, data processing and analysis.
Massey maintains an institution-wide subscription to NeSI (New Zealand eScience Infrastructure) which provides access to high performance computing resources ‘at scale’ for Massey University staff and students.
Page authorised by University Librarian
Last updated on Tuesday 29 May 2018
Research Data Management Librarian
Guidance, training opportunities and practical support.
Research Development Team
Data management (funder retention requirements) advice for current and future research projects.
Contact a Subject Librarian
Personal research help by email, phone, or appointment.
These guidelines are informed by information provided under open licenses by other organisations including: