Research Data Management

Data Management for researchers at CQUniversity.

CQUniversity research data storage options

It is mandatory to store a master copy of your data for research undertaken at CQUniversity. Data storage requirements need to be managed across the complete data lifecycle as storage needs will differ at various stages of the research project including:

  • during active data collection/generating phase
  • for data analysis
  • on project completion
  • when data is published or deposited
  • for data reuse

There is an overview of CQUni Data Storage Options in the Data Services section of the eResearch website. There is additional information in the rest of that section.

Why storage matters

ANDS Data storage provides a guide for those who are interested in learning more about options for long term storage of high impact data for the benefit of the nation.

Here are some of the key points:

  • making your data shareable and reusable is in part met by storage solutions which makes data discoverable and accessible over the long-term
  • storage integration with metadata maintenance assists to provide access and curation
  • different choices of data storage have implications for metadata management and data access

Backing up data

Research data, materials and related records should be:

  • backed up regularly
  • stored securely in at least three different locations

Backing up your research data an essential part of data management. Backing up data means making and storing copies of your data in more than one place. It safeguards against the loss of data and time invested in your research project.

Decide on a backup regime, including frequency and whether to use only full backups or combine full backups with differential or incremental backups. The cost and effort involved in frequent backups is to be weighed up against the data changes made since last backup. In order to maintain the integrity of stored data, project data should be protected from physical damage as well as from tampering, loss, or theft.

Protect your system by keeping updated anti-virus protection on every computer; maintain up-to-date versions of all software and media storage devices.

3 to 1 a back-up will save you

Always back your work up. If something happens to your working copy, you can recreate your work from the back up copy a lot more easily than starting from the beginning again. Always keep your back up copies in secure storage. This is especially important for sensitive data.

  • 3 back-up copies of your data, your EndNote library, your thesis. Update these back-up copies once a week.
  • 2 different formats for your back up copies.
  • 1 back up copy elsewhere – Store one back-up copy of each dataset, EndNote library or document in a different physical/geographical location from the working copy.

File formats

To ensure long-term accessibility of data it should be saved in a non-proprietary or open file format which does not have restrictions on it's use and no one claims intellectual property rights over. The reason is that if the code behind the software is publicly available (i.e. open source), the assumption is that format/software will be supported so long as there is a community of practice supporting the open software. Private software companies can go out of business or stop producing a compatible version of the software in whose format your data was saved, and no one will have the rights or knowledge to provide it anymore.

These sites provide a detailed discussion of file formats: