Looking after your data
You’ve invested a lot of time and effort in creating your data, so keep it safe, both now and for the future.
To 'back-up' data is to make and store copies of your data in more than one location. This means that if one drive or location fails, there are still other copies available. Our guide to back-up explains who is responsible for back-up and how to do it.
Each copy needs to be cared for if you want to keep it long-term - see our guide to preservation for help.
It's tempting to keep everything, but keeping all your files:
- Cost money;
- Makes it more difficult to find the truly important things;
- Means you are liable to a Freedom of Information request for anything you are keeping.
Use our guide to selection to help make good decisions about what is really worth keeping and what can safely be disposed of.
Depending on the circumstances data may be able to be used and re-used, either by the original researcher or by others in the field. Our guides to accessing your data and sharing your data can help you choose the best ways to collaborate and share your data.
[Back to the top]
Preservation of your data is important because:
- Unlike paper documents, digital materials aren't stable and easy to use after decades;
- Data must be actively managed so they can still be found, understood and used in the future;
- The University and most funders requires researchers to keep their data for 10+ years after creation;