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Research Data Management

A library guide that addresses FAIR principles, policies and ethics, data planning, storing, and sharing data.

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 practices in your field.

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. 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.

Research publication

For Research Data publication and promotion Figshare is the recommended storage option, see the Figshare page for details.

Collaborating on data

RMIT provides automatic storage space through your RMIT drive and in Cloudstor+ using your RMIT login. Cloudstor+ is a useful tool for collaboration between researchers at the pre-publication stage of data collection. 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

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 cloud storage 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. 

IT Services storage and collaboration options

Video - Data Sharing and Management Snafu in 3 Short Acts

‘Data’ is a broad term that includes research data, research datasets, 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.

Data Sharing and Management Snafu in 3 Short Acts (4:40 mins) by NYU Health Sciences Library (YouTube)