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Research Data Management

Choosing the Right Storage Solution

Video tape archive storage, by DRs Kulturarvsprojekt (CC By-SA 2.0, cropped)

Data storage during your project must answer several contradictory requirements. These need to be understood and weighted to choose the optimal storage solution in any given situation. No solution works in every situation, and this section of the research data management guide should help you decide what is best for your project.

The main criteria you will take into account are:

  • Data safety: how can you prevent loss or corruption of your data?
  • Data security: how sensitive or personal is the data, and how do you make sure no wrongful access is possible?
  • Data availability: can you easily access and use the data when needed?
  • Material conditions: do your budget or the volume of the data limit your options?

Various solutions are available, which can be sorted in different categories:

  • Cloud storage: different suppliers and usage conditions, sometimes unacceptable.
  • Institutional storage: safe and secure, but not always practical.
  • Personal storage: backups and security measures must be taken care of.

Looking for Long-term Storage Solutions?

This part of the guide is about "live" data storage. For long-term data preservation beyond the end of a project, please visit our section on Sharing data for information about data repositories.