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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

Data storage and backup at Bond

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.  Storing master copies of digital data on individual desktop or laptop computers is also not recommended.  Treat these as convenient working devices, but not as primary stores.

Protect your intellectual property and comply with the Privacy Act by only using Bond University recommended data storage solutions.

♦ Download the Bond Data Storage Guide below ♦

Cloud storage

Bond University staff and HDR students can use the following cloud services on and off campus.

Bond Research Data Store (Sharepoint)

The Bond Research Data Store is available to all research staff and HDR students for day-to-day and long term data storage.

The Bond Research Data Store allows users and teams to share files and folders with others, both internally and externally. However, sharing data with others poses risks. You need to consider these carefully and make an informed decision about sharing your folders and files with others.

As the Research Data Store is set up to allow academics and HDR students to share folders and files directly, the University does not provide a formal permission process for this to occur. As such, it is important that each researcher considers the ramifications of sharing folders and files with others before doing so. The person who initiates the sharing of folders and files is responsible for ensuring the safe and appropriate sharing of data. There are many issues to consider, and it is recommended researchers should seek early advice from a Research Data Advisor, or the Office of Research Services.


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 useful for sharing of de-identified data sets.

Log in and connect to Cloudstor


LabArchives is an industry standard electronic lab notebook available 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


Ask A Librarian

Research Office

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