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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. https://libguides.unbc.ca/rdm/secure-storage

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.

There are many repositories online that might be the right home for your data. re3data.org is a collection of data repositories that you can browse to find one that works for you:


Two recommended options for Open Access data deposit are TRUSpace and FRDR.

TRUSpace vs FRDR Comparison

TRUSpace

FRDR

TRU repository

Yes

No

Maximum file size

Consult with TRUSpace librarian (Erin May)

Any size

Location of data servers

Canada

Canada

Can create a DOI for your data

No

Yes

File types accepted

All

All

Update files and keep older versions

Possible, but not recommended—Consult with TRUSpace librarian

Updating difficult and only the most recent version kept

For active storage

No

No

For long-term, OA deposit

Yes

Yes

Suitable for sensitive data

No

No

Specialized metadata

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

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

Process

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.

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

Curation

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

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

Adapted from: Wilson, Susie (2021). Research Data Management: Deposit and Share Data. https://libguides.unbc.ca/rdm/share