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Research Data Management Toolkit

This guide is designed as an introduction to research data and the management of data for the research community at Bond University.

Storage and backup

Storage and backup

Each individual  researcher should ensure that their research data is regularly backed-up and stored securely for the life of the project and throughout the minimum retention period (see table below). Research funding bodies and/or collaborative groups often dictate where research data must be stored, for example in institutional, national and international repositories.

Important storage note:

Many researchers store their data on devices, such as USBs and external hard drives. These types of storage solutions pose a risk of data loss if your data is not backed up.

                                                                            Always backup your data in three places.

Storage at Bond

Currently every staff member and HDR student has a Home Drive (H:Drive) with up to 5GB storage.

Each Faculty/Institute has a shared General Drive (G:Drive) with storage capacity allocated as required. This may be suitable for research data in some instances especially where more than one researcher needs to access the same data in a designated Research Folder.

Requests for large amounts of storage may require a business case and associated funding for the purchase of extra storage capa.

Contact the IT Service Desk for further information on group storage options.

Cloud storage

Bond University staff and HDR students also have the option to use the following cloud services on and off campus.

Keep in mind that confidential or sensitive data should be de-identified before uploading to any cloud storage provider. 

OneDrive

All staff and students receive a OneDrive for Business cloud storage drive which provides 1TB storage & sharing facilities and is part of the Microsoft Office365 suite.  All types of files can be stored including .msi, .arf, .ens, .pdfs and image formats as well any works or data created using the Microsoft suite of products. This product offers secure storage located in Australia avoiding any sovereignty issues.

HDR students nearing the 1TB limit, or have already reached it, can request an increase in their OneDrive storage to 5TB.  

Check your OneDrive 'Site Settings > Storage Metrics' to see your storage usage before applying to IT Services for increased storage space 

Log in to OneDrive from the Computing Support page

 

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Cloudstor

Cloudstor hosted by Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet).  AARnet is a not for profit company owned by Australian universities and CSIRO.

Cloudstor offers the following benefits for Bond researchers:

  • 1TB of free personal storage space
  • Fast access using your Bond Uni login
  • Quick large file transfer
  • Secure storage located in Australia avoiding any sovereignty issues

Cloudstor is be useful for storing and sharing of de-identified data sets.

Log in and connect to Cloudstor

LabArchives

LabArchives is an industry standard electronic lab notebook available from 2020 to all HDR and academic staff to report research. The software can ingest files, text, photos, provides for sharing where appropriate. 

For more information view the LabArchives Tutorials and Information page.

 

File formats

File format decisions should ideally be made before you start data collection. Migrating data from an unsuitable format to a more durable and accessible one is usually difficult, expensive and may in some cases be impossible.

File formats can become obsolete for various reasons:

● Software / file formats are upgraded and the new version no longer works with the old version

● Software that supports the format is bought out by a competitor and withdrawn

● Format falls into disuse or no-one writes software to support/implement it

● Format is no longer compatible with current software or is not backwards compatible with older software

The result of this obsolescence means that it may no longer be possible to access the file, read the file or reuse the data, either entirely or partially. Risks also emerge for users if the software required resolving the format is restricted or the developer changes licensing or costed use of that software. 

During data collection and analyses, researchers may select specific data formats. Conversion of data into standard interchangeable formats may be necessary for preservation purposes. As future access and reuse of data may be affected by proprietary formats, it is advisable to use open formats such as Rich Text Format (RTF) or Open Document Format (ODF) for preservation purposes.

Open format examples include:

1. Standard image formats: JPEG 2000, PNG and SVG

2. For text: ASCII, PDF, Open Document Format (ODF) and Office Open XML format (the native format for recent versions of Microsoft Word)

3. For the web: HTML, XHTML, RSS and CSS

Preservation, retention and disposal

Research data and primary materials must be preserved. Researchers need to ensure that their research data is secure and retrievable for long term use.

In general, the minimum recommended period for retention of research data is 5 years from the date of publication. However, in any particular case, the period for which data should be retained should be determined by the specific type of research. For example:

  • For short-term research projects that are for assessment purposes only, such as research projects completed by students, retaining research data for 12 months after the completion of the project may be sufficient;
  • For most clinical trials, retaining research data for 15 years or more may be necessary;
  • For areas such as gene therapy, research data must be retained permanently (e.g. patient records);
  • If the work has community or heritage value, research data should be kept permanently at this stage, preferably within a national collection.

Researchers should identify the possible retention period for used data and also potential requirements for retention and disposal and consult the Queensland State Archives University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule below

Other Storage Options

Australian Data Archive (ADA)

You can also contribute datasets to the Australian Data Archive (ADA) for further analysis by researchers.  ADA Data Access information and forms are available. Those interested in contributing their research to ADA can find information on how to do this on the ADA Website.

The Data Repositories List on the Open Access Directory shows the increasing demand for discipline specific data storage.
 
Some Australian examples of external data storage and collaboration options available to researchers include:

Contact us

Bond University Library

Scholarly Publishing and Copyright

Email: researchdata@bond.edu.au 

Ask A Librarian

Research Office

Dr Lisa Marlow 
Research Ethics Manager
Phone: +61 7 5595 4194