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Research Data Management: Storing data

Storing data: what do I need to consider?

 Storing your data securely and safely is important, in order to avoid loss, damage, theft or unlawful access. When deciding where to store your data, think about the following questions:



  • Will it provide the amount of storage space I need?
  • Will I have access to it for the length of time necessary?
  • Can my research collaborators have access too?
  • Can files be easily updated?
  • How secure is the storage (e.g. who can access it? Is it encrypted? Might data be lost? Might it be hacked?)
  • Is it regularly backed up in different locations?
  • Does it meet data protection requirements?
  • What happens if I leave the University?
  • Can I access it with different devices?
  • Will there be a cost to me, and how will I cover that cost?

What data format should I use to store my data?

When choosing the formats that you use to store your data, take into consideration the following:

  • what software and formats you or your colleagues have used in past projects
  • what software is compatible with hardware you already have
  • how you plan to analyse, sort, or store your data
  • what formats will be easiest to share with colleagues for future projects
  • what formats are at risk of obsolescence, because of new versions or their dependence on particular software
  • what formats will allow opening and reading your data in the future

You may use one format for data collection and analysis, and convert your data to another format for archiving and publishing. Also, check whether any disciplinary standards exist for archiving your data. 

Where can I store my data?

DMU Figshare can be used for storing and in-project sharing of research data.  It provides GDPR compliant, secure cloud-based storage space, which is regularly backed up.  This is available to research staff and PGR students.

DMU Figshare can be used for short term and long term storage of data, as well as for sharing data (where appropriate).

Additional facilities are available for DMU research staff.  See details on DMU Connect. 

It is inadvisable to store research data on the following, due to vulnerability to loss and damage:

  • Portable storage media such as CDs, DVDs and memory sticks (USBs, flash drives).  
  • Personal computers and laptops. 

If you do use any of these, make sure that

  • the device or media is encrypted, and
  • you have an additional copy in a more secure storage space.

DMU Policy

Policy on Managing Research Data at DMU

"It is the responsibility of researchers to discuss with the relevant departments (e.g. ITMS, Library and Learning Services) whether there will be any cost to their project for the storage ..., backup, deposit and retention of the project research data; and to ensure, ... that any costs during the life of the project and after can be covered."

DMU RDM Training


Click to go to the DMU Research Data Management Course