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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 multiple copies of your data is an integral part of data management. Your personal computer, external hard drives, departmental or university servers are examples of tools used for storing copies of data. Removable media, such as CDs, DVDs, or USB flash drives are not recommended.

Making copies of your data and having a backing system is not the same as a long-term archiving solution for your data. 

Make copies of 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

Storing your data in the cloud

Create automated backup system

In additional to keeping multiple copies, having an automated a backup system helps secure your data from accidental loss. 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.

You can use the built-in features of your operating system or a backup software tool to make copies of your data. Backup software allows you to copy your data to portable storage media such as an external hard drive.

You can use native backup programs found on your operating system:

Protecting data

Secure Your Data

  • Data should be stored on password-protected computers.
  • Unencrypted is ideal for storing your data because it will be more easily read by you and others in the future. But if you do need to encrypt your data because of its sensitivity, contact UNH Enterprise Encryption Services for assistance.

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. Find at more about managing regulated data at UNH.