The Holistic Librarian – Thing 6

Hi, I’m Natasha Bayliss and I’m the Subject Librarian for Biosciences, Geography, Psychology, Sports and Health Science, Clinical sciences and Medicine.

Task 6 was to document “Where can a University of Exeter researcher store her live research data?

What I knew about the topic beforehand:

Research data takes many forms, ranging from measurements, numbers and images to documents and publications. Therefore there are many different ways in which you can choose to store your research data. Often when creating and storing data you need to address issues surrounding ethics and data protection.

What I know now:

It’s essential to consider how you are going to store your research data from the beginning. There are a number of different ways that you can store your data. The nature of your data may determine which option you select.

All University of Exeter members have an allocation of secure filespace on a central server that can be used for storing work for access from any computer connected to the University network. This is known as the U: Drive because that is how it is identified on the open-access PC cluster rooms. More information about the U: Drive can be found at http://as.exeter.ac.uk/it/files/udrive/ .

You could store your data on a PC, Laptop or on storage devices such as external hard drives, USB memory sticks, CDs or DVDs. Cloud storage is an alternative form of storing data. It involves storing data on servers that are generally hosted by third parties, such as Google Docs, Dropbox and Skydrive. Be wary of using cloud storage for confidential data.

Backing up your data (i.e. saving it in more than one location) is critical. Useful advice on this topic can be found at http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/datamanagement/lookingafteryourdata/back-up/

How did I obtain this knowledge?

I looked at the following websites:

UK Data Archive

University of Glasgow, Data Management

Guides and Help Sheets for Researchers

Cloud storage

What else would I like to know about this topic?

Advice on storing confidential data and data security for researchers.

How did I find this task? How would I improve it?

I found the task useful and hope that it will enhance the support I provide to researchers.

Posted under Holistic Librarian, Training

This post was written by Hannah Lloyd-Jones on January 4, 2013

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1 Comment so far

  1. Hannah Lloyd-Jones January 4, 2013 11:44

    Hi Natasha,

    Many thanks for this!

    Another thing to consider when thinking about where to store “live” research data, is who else needs access to the data set. For example, you could store it in a shared folder with access restrictions on the University’s network (http://as.exeter.ac.uk/it/files/shared/), or on the cloud (if it’s not confidential).

    Best wishes,

    Hannah

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