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Research Data Management

This guide is designed to support research data management by providing guidance on good practices and pointing to additional resources.

Storage of Active Data

A key aspect of a data management plan is a storage strategy for active data and archival data. Data is easily lost, digital files are fragile, and formats and storage media become obsolete. 

"Active" or "working" data refers to your data as you collect and access it during the course of a project. Your datasets may be expanding as you collect new data, and you may need to access data regularly for processing and analysis. An important component of data management planning is deciding where and how you will store your active data so that it is readily accessible to you but also secure. When making this decision, consider these issues:

  • Anticipated size of dataset
  • Computational requirements: Large-scale analyses may require high-speed processors and a substantial amount of disk space.
  • Backup: It is essential that you regularly make one or more backup copies of your data and store backups in geographically separate locations from the master dataset. Keep in mind the principle of LOCKSS in mind: Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe. Keep an original copy, a second local copy, and a remote copy to mitigate the risk of data loss.
  • Security: If you are working with sensitive data such as medical data or other human subject data, ensure that the storage system you use meets security standards. 

UChicago Box

The University of Chicago provides faculty, students, and staff with storage on Box, a cloud-based storage option that allows for file sharing and collaborative editing. FAQs and information about how to use Box and its features are available on the UChicago IT Services website.

The service provides unlimited storage space to users, with the size of individual files limited to 15GB.

Data Storage Options at UChicago