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Keeping reliable backups is an integral part of data management. Regular backups protect against the risk of damage or loss due to hardware failure, software or media faults, viruses or hacking, power failure, or even human errors. It is recommended that you have three backup copies (original, external but local to your institution, and external at a remote location). Check the integrity of your backed-up files using checksum validation. Create a backup schedule, use reliable backup medium AND test out your backup system by testing file restores. The UK Data Archive provides additional guidelines on data storage, back-up, and security.
Departmental or University Server
Subject archive (repository)
External Hard Drives
ITC Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM)
CDs or DVDs are NOT Recommended
How to share and archive your data
File Formats for Long Term Access
The file format in which you keep your data is a primary factor in one's ability to use your data in the future. Plan for both hardware and software obsolescence. See the section Organizing Files and File Formats for details on preferable long-term storage file formats.
Don't Forget the Documentation
Document your research and data so others can interpret the data. It is important to begin to document your data at the very beginning of your research project and continue throughout the project.
Ownership and Privacy
Make sure that you have considered the implications of sharing data, in terms of copyright and IP ownership, and ethical requirements like privacy and confidentiality.