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.
Bond University staff and HDR students can use the following cloud services on and off campus.
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:
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 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● Software that supports the format is bought out by a competitor and withdrawn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
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:
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
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