Data Storage

Management of data storage has become a central requirement of scholarly activity. Correct storage maintenance throughout a project's lifecycle ensures the data remains secure and safe. Robust data privacy and security planning are needed to protect the privacy of research subjects and to secure sensitive, personally identifiable information, as well as data representing intellectual property.

  • Data management plans typically require details related to data storage at all phases of a project, including the preferred storage options.
  • When collecting, ingesting data from outside sources, and analyzing datasets, data security and data safety need to be addressed. Particular attention should be given to projects involving human subjects and protected health information (PHI).
  • Project completion includes planning to share and publish. Important considerations include determining where (data repositories, archives), how (records management), and how long (data retention) data is stored.

Storage Options

Cloud Storage

Microsoft Office 365 (SharePoint, OneDrive for Business) is the only approved cloud storage location for information generated by your activities at UIW (see IT Policy).

Context-specific cloud solutions that have been approved by UIW, such as Qualtrics (online surveys), Ethical Review Manager (IRB applications), and Adobe Creative Cloud (documents and graphics), may also be used for their intended purpose.

Active Data and Backup Media

Active data may be stored on UIW-owned computing devices and encrypted personal devices such as a personal laptop or storage medium. It is recommended that two forms of backup are used, with one being Microsoft Office 365. No centralized backup services are offered.

Data Security and Safety

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Sponsored Programs have specific data security and safety requirements that apply to human subjects research and extramural funding proposals, respectively. For university-wide information security guidelines, please see the Information Security website.

Data Retention

The are a number of factors that govern the length of time data should be retained. Human subjects research data must be retained for 3 years after the project closes. Funding agencies may have data retention policies relating to the agency and/or particular funding mechanism. Data in support of intellectual property can have their own retention requirements.

Careful attention to this subject is an effort well spent when creating your data management and sharing plan.