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Store your research data

Find the storage method that best suits your project
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Safe and secure storage of research data is essential in ensuring that all data is regularly backed up and data loss is prevented. Depending on the storage selected, it can also facilitate collaboration and data sharing between project team members.

You must protect your research data from accidental loss and unauthorised access. To safeguard your data, we recommend using storage systems provided or endorsed by the University, such as the Research Data Store (RDS), eNotebooks, and CloudStor. These systems are regularly backed up, have built in redundancy, and are covered by the University’s Information Security Policy.

However, if you can’t store your data on University systems, then you should:

  • backup your data as you make changes to it
  • backup your data by storing at least two copies in at least two different locations
  • encrypt or password protect your storage device or individual files
  • be careful when storing sensitive research data on free, cloud-based storage solutions such as Dropbox or Google Docs, as they may not meet ethical requirements.

Storage options

The University provides facilities for safe and secure storage of research data. Selecting which storage is appropriate depends on various factors, including if the project involves internal or external collaboration, if data contains confidential information, and the volume of data. View the available storage options below to see what will best suit your project. If you’re unsure what storage will be most suitable, contact the Research Data team.

Research Data Store
  • The Research Data Store (RDS) is the recommended research data storage facility for the University. All University of Sydney researchers and affiliates are eligible to use the RDS, making it a useful collaborative storage environment for research projects. Access to the RDS is provisioned after you complete and submit a Research Data Management Plan (RDMP) online. The researcher nominated as the Lead Chief Investigator on the RDMP can then control access to the project folder on the RDS by adding and deleting contributors on the RDMP. The RDS is accessible on campus from your computer (similar to using a network drive) or from home using a VPN. All data on the RDS is stored on servers in Australia and backed-up regularly with nightly backups kept for seven days, weekly backups kept for four weeks and monthly backups kept for twelve months.

    Visit Ask Sydney for more information on the RDS.

Research Computing Optimised Storage
  • Research Computing Optimised Storage (RCOS) is a section of the Research Data Store (RDS) that is designed to improve use of the Artemis High Performance Computing service and enable easier data transfer, data modelling, processing, and analysis on Artemis and local computers. In addition, it facilitates the connection of microscopes and other sensors to the RDS using a non-standard (Windows/Mac) data language. To request access to RCOS, simply select ‘Research Computing Optimised Storage’ in question 15 of your research data management plan (RDMP).

    Once requested, an ICT support officer will be in contact with the project's Lead Chief Investigator in the next 2 business days to finalise the provisioning of RCOS.

    Visit Ask Sydney for more information on RCOS.

CloudStor
  • CloudStor is cloud storage (similar to Dropbox) that’s endorsed by the University. All University of Sydney researchers and affiliates are eligible to use CloudStor, which can be accessed via an app on your mobile device or via a browser. In CloudStor, you can store up to 100GB of data, which is kept securely on servers in Australia. CloudStor also offers users the ability to share uploaded files with others via an active link that can be protected with a password and expiry date.

    More information can be found on the CloudStor homepage.

eNotebooks

  • eNotebooks are recommended by the University for use by researchers in all research areas as a great online collaborative tool. An eNotebook can store your documents and data files, is easily integrated with Microsoft Office, is accessible via an app or browser, and has customisable widgets to make your research and data records more effective. All eNotebooks and their data are stored on servers within Australia and can be used with internal and external collaborators.

    More information can be found on the eNotebook pages.

Personal storage
  • It’s not recommended that researchers store master copies of data on personal computers, or removable devices such as USBs, external hard drives or CDs. These items are easily lost and can become damaged or unusable easily. If you do choose to use personal storage, please see tips for safeguarding data at the top of this page.