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Research Data Management at TRU

Introduction to Data Storage, Deposit, and Preservation

Data Storage occurs at every stage of the research process. No matter what kind of data you have, it must be stored somewhere! When you are still using and working with your data, this may be referred to as active storage.

Data Preservation is a long term consideration for after your project is complete. Where will the data live? How long will you store it? How will you ensure that it is stable and secure? This might be called long-term storage.

Data Deposit is a form of data preservation. If you submit your data to a repository, or deposit it, this can help ensure that it is preserved. A good repository has stable digital storage backed up on servers so that the items within can last.

A repository is an online collection of materials that is stored, managed, and preserved. They can be for an institution (for example, TRUSpace), for a specific discipline (for example, BioModels), or for data generally (for example, FRDR). Many repositories are Open Access, so keep that in mind when choosing a place to deposit your data.

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

See below for options for storing your data.

Source: Wilson, Susie (2021). Research Data Management: Data Storage and Security.

Data Storage Options

IT Services at TRU is your best option for data storage. Whenever possible, reach out in advance of your storage needs so that there is sufficient time. Consider:

  • How much space will you need?
  • How many people will need to access the data?
  • What will you need to do to the data when it is being stored? (i.e. high processing computing, fast access, etc.)
  • Storing sensitive data on Canadian servers

Note: if you are using an external software for your data, it may need to go through a privacy assessment. Allow 3-4 weeks for a privacy assessment. Contact John Cuzzola in IT Services for more information.

Data Deposit Options

For now, all of our data deposit options are for data that can be made available Open Access. This means that anyone online can find, access, and view the data. All data deposited online should be free from sensitive information.

TRU has a data repository in Borealis, The Canadian Dataverse Repository:

There are many other repositories online that might be the right home for your data. is a collection of data repositories that you can browse to find one that works for you:

Another recommended option for Open Access data deposit is FRDR.

TRUSpace vs FRDR Comparison





Note – no longer recommended for data deposit.

TRU repository




Maximum file size


Any size

Consult with TRUSpace librarian (Erin May)

Location of data servers




Can create a DOI for your data




File types accepted




Update files and keep older versions

Yes, updating datasets is easy and users can track and download older versions of your data.

Updating difficult and only the most recent version kept

Possible, but not recommended—Consult with TRUSpace librarian

For active storage

Limited – may deposit data files before publishing them but all data should eventually be published



For long-term, OA deposit




Suitable for sensitive data

No – data can be restricted (i.e. requires approval by author) but should not contain any sensitive information



Specialized metadata

Yes – many options for both general metadata and specialized fields

Yes - Default, general standards for data description with the ability to request custom metadata fields and discipline specific web forms.

No – standard library metadata only (i.e. title, author, description, subjects)


Refer to TRU Borealis User Guide for full process

Create FRDR account, fill out metadata and license information, and deposit. FRDR curators will work with you to enhance and preserve data.

Send data and agreement form to Erin May, TRUSpace librarian, who will work with TRUSpace team and you to ensure data is uploaded and metadata is correct.


Limited – TRU librarian will provide limited curation (outlined in the TRU Borealis User Guide) to ensure findability of data, but will not curate the data files or data content.

Yes - FRDR curators work with depositors to enhance FAIRness of datasets and completeness of data.

No—at this time, all data submitted to TRUSpace must be ready to be deposited by the research team.

Adapted from: Wilson, Susie (2021). Research Data Management: Deposit and Share Data.