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.
NOTE: You do not need to keep everything or all versions of your data. You only need to retain the data that verifies your research findings.
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.
For Research Data publication and promotion Figshare is the recommended storage option, see the Figshare page for details.
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:
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.
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.
‘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.