Research data is the backbone of a project, and the loss of any information can be incredibly detrimental to the study. It is important to ensure data throughout the research process is stored securely, backed up, and maintained regularly.
It is recommended that you have at least three copies of data at all times. For example the original, one stored locally (external storage devices, network drive), and one stored remotely (cloud storage). Consider how frequently research data will be stored, the different locations where it will be stored, and how much space the project will require. More information about data storage and backup best practices can be found on the Boston University Libraries & University of Oregon Library website.
When storing your research data consider whether it contains any personal or sensitive information that could directly or indirectly identify an individual or organization. In the event that the data does contain personal or sensitive information restricting access and encryption are popular methods of ensuring the data is stored securely. Learn more about handling and storing sensitive data at the University of Ohio's page.
Other considerations when storing your research data is file and folder organization. Avoid generic file and folder names as these might conflict when they are moved to a different location. Create names that reflect the contents, and are unique, meaningful, and brief.
What are different ways of storing my research data?
How often should I store my research data?
How can I guarantee my research data is secure?
Are there necessary precautions I should take for storing personal and sensitive data?