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Research Data Management

Why Should I Keep Data?

You are legally required to keep research data for a period of time. It is also a good idea because you may want to use the data again in the future, promote it for use by other researchers, or need it to verify your results. Some publishers ask for access to data. 

Data retention can be determined by a number of factors. Some things to consider include contractual requirements of funding bodies, legal requirements to retain or discard data, as well as best practice in your field. 

Visit RMIT's Research data management policy process for more detail about how long you should be keeping the data. Also see this article in the Researcher portal: Storing your research data.

NOTEYou do not need to keep everything or all versions of your data.  You only need to retain the data that verifies your research findings.

Where to Store Data

Think about where data is going to be stored and how you will control access to the data.

For Research Data publication there is Figshare, as detailed here.

You must store your data so that it is safe and backed up. If you store your data on a memory stick or a laptop it could be damaged or lost. Make sure you back it up at RMIT regularly.

RMIT provides automatic storage space through your RMIT drive and in Cloudstor+. Clourstor is a useful tool for collaboration between researchers at the pre-publication stage of data collection. Here's a quick guide to some of the IT options available to Researchers at RMIT. It includes information about how to easily provide access to the data for your research team or other collaborators. 

ITS also provides advice on options for collaborating on data.

When you are off campus you can access data saved at RMIT using 

Temporarily Storing Data Outside RMIT

In some circumstances - such as remote fieldwork - it may not be possible to store data on RMIT infrastructure. If so, you should take steps to protect the research data.

  • If you store the data on an external device always test the devices and back it up.
  • Store your backup devices in different places. 
  • Use secure cloud storage - see ITS advice on cloudstorage options

At the end of your project remember to store your data at RMIT so that it is safe and backed up for its minimum legal retention period. 


You can easily store data on Cloudstor+ using your RMIT login. Cloudstor+ (by AARnet) looks and feels like Dropbox but provides:

  • 100 GB of free space,
  • access via fast, fiber network,
  • secure storage with easy sharing, 
  • automatic data replication for dependability,
  • location in Australia - so complies with Australian law. 
While Figshare is perfect for the publication and promotion of Research Data, Cloudstor is ideal for collaboration between researchers at the pre-publication stage of research.

Data sharing and Storing

‘Data’ is a broad term that includes research data, research data sets and research records. ‘Storing data’ requires thinking about where data is going to be stored and why. This will depend to some extent on the format, size and quantity of your data.

RMIT also has some solutions for sharing your research data but there are other ways that you can do this. A couple of these include:​