The Main Library’s Blog

How to store your research data?

5. June 2018 | HBZ | No Comments |

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

A good file organization is a prerequisite to work efficiently with your valuable research data. Moreover, it helps to avoid errors and unnecessary duplications.

Organize your data in clear structures!

As always: early planning matters and saves time, which can be used for the actual research. You should consider several aspects

  • Create a hierarchical and logical folder structure or use predefined standards whenever possible – and stick to it.
  • Use descriptive file names and avoid special characters.
  • Store your data uncompressed in an open, non-proprietary and well-documented format (e.g., CSV for spreadsheets). This ensures that the data remain readable in the future.
  • Agree on a file versioning strategy. You can implement a simple version control with a file name suffix convention (e.g., v001, v002 or v1_0, v1_5)
  • Do not consider all your data as being self-explanatory. Make sure that you properly document and annotate your data right from the beginning.

Data should be well documented and annotated.

  • Backup your data! Ensure that the backup processes are working as expected and check periodically if your data are actually restorable from the backups. Follow the 3-2-1 backup rule: keep at least 3 copies on 2 different media and store 1 copy offsite.

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