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Research Data Management

New to the idea of Research Data Management? This guide will introduce you to the basics.

Subject Librarian

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Susie Wilson

Storage Best Practices

Early in your research process, create a plan to safely store and regularly back up your research data. Data loss can be disastrous and take time and money to recreate if possible. Here are a few simple steps to mitigate the risks of data loss:

  • Estimate how much storage space you will need and determine who will need access, what type of access will each team member need, and how they will access the data
    • Keep the number of researchers who can manipulate the data as small as possible to reduce the risk of human error
  • Follow the 3-2-1 backup rule
    • 3 - Have at least 3 copies of your data,
    • 2 - Stored on 2 different secure and reliable media (e.g. cloud storage, hard drive, etc.),
    • 1 - With 1 backup copy offsite
  • Backup regularly and, preferably, automatically

For more information on UNBC's data storage and security options, contact Information Technology Services at

Securing Sensitive Data

Neither Scholars Portal Dataverse or FRDR are appropriate to store sensitive or restricted data and you will have to de-identify and anonymize your data before you can publish it. Sensitive and restricted data include:

Source: FRDR. (n.d.). Preparing Your Data. FRDR-DFDR. Retrieved January 29, 2021, from

Some Best Practices for Working with Sensitive Data

  • Encrypt computer hard drives and other devices to prevent unauthorized access to information
  • Do not use Dropbox, Google Drive, and other free cloud services to store sensitive data
  • Do not collect personal information unless absolutely necessary and de-identify data immediately. Segregate personal information from the other data collected.
  • For more information refer to the Sensitive Data Toolkit for Researchers by Portage Network Sensitive Data Expert Group

Source: Kaitlyn Gutteridge. (2016). Data Privacy and Information Security: Researcher Checklist. UBC.

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