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Research Data Management

Resource for best practices in managing, storing, and sharing your research data

Data Storage

It's best to store data in one central location for -

  • Easy access
  • Duplication
  • Version control
  • Keeping a list

UTSA offers storage solutions and server management through the OIT.



Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Data Backup

Data is worthless if lost therefore keeping reliable backups is integral to data management

3-2-1 Rule

Always retain
3 copies of anything important, the original and two copies stored on at least
2 different media formats (i.e., hard drive, shared server, flash drive, cloud storage, etc.) with at least
1 copy off-site or in cloud storage.




Image by Photo-Mix from Pixabay

3rd Party Backup Options

Data Security

Depending on the type of data, security can also be a significant concern

  • Passwords should be strong and differ from account to account
  • Keep antivirus software and operating system updated
    • Security patches are frequently released to repair loopholes and backdoors
  • Unencrypted data is more easily read but encryption may be necessary for for sensitive data
    • If encrypting - keep passwords and keys on paper (2 copies), and in an encrypted digital file
    • Don’t rely on 3rd party encryption alone
  • If sensitive data (such as that from interviews, human subjects, or other private information) is used then you should have a plan in place to destroy, redact, and/or anonymize the data to protect the participants.
  • Uncompressed data is also ideal for storage, but if space is limited, only compress your 3rd backup copy

Image by Blue Coat Photos from Flickr

For more information about responsible acquisition and storage of sensitive information contact: