On this page you will find guidance on choosing storage for your research data, Using the X: and H: drives, remote access to the University managed servers, securing your research data, choosing where to preserve your data at the end of your project, and links to the Digital, Data and Technology Group information on data storage.
Your research data are valuable assets to you, and potentially to the wider research community, and you have probably invested considerable time, effort and money in creating them.
To protect your data you need to consider how they are stored, backed-up and secured whilst still working on them. You should consider the following:
The University currently does not recommend storing research data in the cloud and provides guidance on whether you should store your data in the cloud but personal data must not be stored in the cloud.
Managed research storage is provided by the Digital, Data and Technology Group for academic staff and postgraduate students. 100GB is available at no charge for every permanent member of academic staff. This can be expanded to up to 1TB if required. An additional 1TB is available for second and subsequent funded projects. Please note that the policy on how this storage is allocated is reviewed periodically, so always check the latest guidance (PDF) on the allocation and deallocation of storage to see if you are eligible.
Principal Investigators and doctoral student supervisors can request data storage via the Digital, Data and Technology Group help page. Larger requirements for storage (above 1TB) must be costed into research grant budgets and should be discussed with the Research & Innovation Service Pre-Award team at the earliest opportunity.
The University's research storage service is resilient, with multiple copies stored in more than one physical location and measures to protect against corruption. Backups are taken regularly and kept for three months. If you accidentally delete a file, the 'Previous Versions' feature of the storage enables you to recover files.
You can access the University research storage service (H: and X: drives) whilst working remotely using two options for access:
Our guidance on working with collaborators has information on how you can securely share your data with collaborators using files.bath. If you are working with sensitive data you should ensure that they are secured whilst you are working remotely. For more information, see our guide to working with sensitive data.
There may be situations where you are collecting data, or working on data, away from campus where you are not able to upload your data to the University managed servers via a secure network connection (https or stfp). Under these circumstances we recommend that you take the following steps to secure your data:
Data security involves ensuring that only authorised people have access to read, edit or use your data. The University research storage service provides a certain degree of security as standard, provided that you follow the Digital, Data and Technology Group guidance on:
Personal and confidential data
There are additional steps that you should take when working with data that are legally classified as personal, sensitive or confidential.
If you are working with personal data you should store all identifiable data in an encrypted folder, or on an encrypted device, separately from anonymised or pseudoanonymised (for example, containing a participant identifier that links back to the name of the participant) data. It is not sufficiently secure to store the identifiable data in a separate folder on the X: drive. There is detailed guidance on working with sensitive data on the 'Sensitive Data' page. You will need to follow this guidance to comply with ESRC and NHS requirements.
The University research storage service only provides storage for active projects (those currently being undertaken or those that ended fewer than three years ago). Once you no longer need regular access to your data, you should evaluate whether you need to retain the data for the long-term. Data that underpins a publication, or that may be of future benefit to you or other members of the research community, should be archived in an appropriate research data archive or repository. Any dataset that is deposited in a research data archive should be structured and documented appropriately, with adequate metadata attached to it. Any retained datasets should be registered via Pure. For more information, see our guide to archiving and sharing data.