Skip to main content

Research data management: Storage

Research data management covers the planning, collecting, organising, managing, storage, security, backing up, preserving, and sharing your data.

Data storage

According to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, researchers are responsible for the safety, security and integrity of the research data they generate or collect, and for any correspondence and records that relate to that research.

Researchers must ensure that all research data, regardless of format, is stored securely and backed up or copied regularly. Arrangements must be in place for the research's life cycle and any statutory minimum period of retention. For digital data, researchers should confirm with IT staff that the back-up regime in place is appropriate for their research data, in terms of the frequency of back-ups, the number of back-up copies, and their housing in multiple locations, including off-site copies.

When planning data storage, researchers should consider:

  • What data formats will be used
  • What the expected data volumes will be
  • What privacy or security requirements, if any, must be met
  • What the access requirements are
  • What kind of long term data storage is needed, for example
    • 'market' (frequent additions and updates)
    • 'vault' (archival storage, periodic access only)

Tips for Choosing Storage

  • Choose non-proprietary, well-documented file formats that will last at least as long as the research project.
  • Save files in their original state - uncompressed and unencrypted.
  • Choose formats that will not be complicated to migrate to new formats.
  • If the data needs specific software to be understood, try to archive the software and its documentation as well as the data.


Storage for UQ Researchers

UQ researchers have a range of digital storage options:

Cloud storage and file sharing

Increasingly cloud storage solutions are being used to transfer data files, store and backup research data.  There are some issues to be mindful of when choosing cloud storage for academic research. Read about it here.

Some of the options available include: