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Research Data Management: Data Collection & Storage

    Data Collection & Storage

The type of research data that you collect will depend on the method you use. For example, interview transcripts, sound recordings, images, videos, spreadsheets, data from instruments. The extent of the data you collect and your collaboration requirements might impact on your storage options.

Research methods

Research methods will influence your data collection content and procedures. You can find many examples and guidelines for various types of research methods in these sources:

Storage of your working data

OneDrive and SharePoint are provided for storage of research data during the collecting and analysis stage of your research.

These are accessible via the Cloud through your university login. ITS has a series of Knowledge Base articles on how to use these and your School will be able to arrange training if required.

If you work off a USB or another portable device it is important to back up all your work frequently to OneDrive or Sharepoint.

You should also share the link to your research data with any collaborators or colleagues or, if you are a HDR student, your supervisor.

Collaboration

If collaborators also need access to the data while it is being collected, the Federation University recommended solution is OneDrive.

Other options might include cloud-based services such as LabArchives or Google Drive.

However, none of these solutions are appropriate for long-term storage of completed datasets. See the tab for Data Storage and Sharing for long-term solutions for completed datasets.

Private or sensitive data

Consider data security when collecting potentially sensitive data.

Sensitive data might include clinical or critical data, information about a person’s health or details of their private life, information relating to secret or sacred practices, or ecological data that could potentially put vulnerable species, ecosystems or environments at risk of harm or exploitation.

The University is required to comply with the Victorian Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and Health Records Act 2001. Please refer to Federation Privacy Officer for more information.

File organisation

Consistently applied file naming conventions and folder structures will enable you to track changes and versions of your data.

In some cases, storage services might provide tools that assist in the organisation of files.

It's also important to use appropriate file types, this document from the Public Record Office Victoria has some useful information about long term sustainable formats.