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.
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 ITS Policies and Guidelines.
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:
External storage option:
For publishing code and 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 information on managing passwords see ITS Account management
For highly sensitive data, consider using a Password Manager such as LastPass and end-to-end encryption tools such as GPG. Contact Andre Geldenhuis, CAD Research Software Engineer for training and advice.