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Data Management Toolkit @ UNH

This toolkit provides information to help researchers develop data management plans and effectively manage their research data.

Backing up data

Keeping reliable backups is an integral part of data management. Your personal computer, external hard drives, departmental or university servers are examples of tools used for backing up data. CDs, DVDs, or USB flash drives are not recommended.

Backing up your data is not the same as a long-term archiving solution for your data

Backup your data

  • Backing up your data means copying your files from one storage medium to another. 
  • Make 3 copies (e.g. original + external/local + external/remote)
  • Have them geographically distributed (local vs. remote depends on recovery time needed)
  • Uncompressed file formats are also ideal for long-term storage, but if you need to do so to conserve space, limit compression to your 3rd backup copy

Backing-up your data in the cloud

  • For cloud storage and collaboration at UNH we use .  For more details about using Box and the type of data you can store there, check out the IT website
  • There are a number of private sector cloud storage resources available.

Test your backup system

In order to make sure that your backup system is working properly, try to retrieve your data files and make sure that you can read them. You should do this upon initial setup of the system and on a regular schedule thereafter.

Protecting data

Secure Your Data

  • Data should be stored on password-protected computers.
  • Unencrypted is ideal for storing your data because it will make it most easily read by you and others in the future. But if you do need to encrypt your data because of its sensitivity:
    • Keep passwords and keys on paper (2 copies), and in a PGP (pretty good privacy) encrypted digital file
    • Don’t rely on 3rd party encryption alone

For more about information security at UNH check out the services that IT offers and the IT Knowledge Base

Protect Your Data

Securely storing your data also provides protection for sensitive and confidential data.  For more information about protecting data related to human subjects, check out the UNH Institutional Review Board and the Ethical Use and Treatment of Human Subjects in Research web-based training module. Additional resources about sensitive data inlcude:

More about data back-up and security