Research data management


Store and secure data

Throughout the life of a research project it is essential to store data securely to ensure you and partner researchers have access and can locate data as needed, and to protect the privacy and integrity of research data created and analysed. It is important to protect your research data from accidental loss and unauthorised access.

How can I secure my research data?

The expected size or volume of data to be collected, dependent often on the format, is a consideration in determining the most appropriate means of storage.

Storing research data in places such as Dropbox or Google Drive may not be secure or meet ethical requirements for sensitive data, for example, information that may compromise the physical, cultural or emotional safety of participants. See the Human Ethics Guidelines and Dealing with Sexually Explicit Material Procedure, along with other Digital Solutions Policies.

Long term storage of research data on personal devices such as laptops, external hard drives, CDs and USBs is not recommended because of potential for loss, damage and unauthorised access.

To secure your data throughout a research project, we recommend the use of storage systems provided or endorsed by Victoria University of Wellington, such as:

  • OneDrive
    – Provides 1TB of personal online storage, with a maximum individual file size of 15GB
  • SharePoint
    – Shared network, designed for use within a school or research centre
  • SOLAR (Storage fOr Learning And Research) - used for large scale research data, shared project spaces and secure individual research folders and has large storage capacity (terabytes)
  • Bespoke SharePoint site (1 tb)
  • Office 365 Groups
  • GitLab for private data/code
  • GitHub for open data/code for version control. 

To select a generalist repository, please refer to the Generalist Repository Comparison Chart.

For publishing code and datasets:

  • GitHub – for code sharing/collaboration
  • FigShare - for sharing datasets

If you use a third-party service, ensure that this does not conflict with any funder, institutional, departmental or group policies, for example in terms of the legal jurisdiction in which data are held or the protection of sensitive data.

Encrypt or manage passwords

For University information on managing passwords see Account management 

For highly sensitive data, consider using a Password Managers such as LastPass and end-to-end encryption tools such as GPG. Contact Andre Geldenhuis, CAD Research Computing Specialist for training and advice.

What are procedures for backup and retention of data?

Determine backup procedures

Avoid storing research data on the local (typically C: or D:) drives of computers or devices, as these are not backed up.

For version control, consider using OneDrive for simple requirements, or Git for a more fully-featured platform

For more information see ITS File and data storage.

Data disposal and retention

Network drives: By default information saved on Victoria University of Wellington network drives is duplicated and archived for the purposes of protection and recoverability. Back-ups can be turned off for highly sensitive data where multiple copies are prohibited.

 For more information see the ITS File and data storage.