Section 3 of 7
Image: Locks [cropped], Skitterphoto, Pixabay, Public Domain
There are a number of EPSRC expectations on research data that require action from researchers. The first of these concerns data storage: EPSRC expects that research data will be securely preserved for a minimum of 10 years from the end of the project, or from the date of last use of the data, whichever is later. Data which has not been used in over 10 years is not expected to be retained.
It is not practical to assume responsibility for preserving your own data for this length of time after a project ends. The University provides secure, backed-up storage for research data: the Research Data Storage Facility (RDSF) will preserve your data for a minimum of 20 years, and PIs can apply for up to 5TB on disk and 50TB on tape, for free. Information on how to apply for RDSF space can be found here.
The RDSF is suitable for both live and archived research data. Access to the RDSF is restricted; as PI, you select who has access to your RDSF space. You can choose to grant access to collaborators both internal and external to the University of Bristol.
Note that using the RDSF will meet the EPSRC expectation on data storage, but it is not a platform for data sharing or data publishing. EPSRC expectations on data publishing will be addressed later in this tutorial.
- The RDSF meets EPSRC’s requirements for long-term data preservation. However, storage media such as USB sticks, CD-ROMs, or external hard drives will degrade over time and can be lost or broken. To securely preserve your data for the long term using these types of media, you would need to store your data in different geographic locations and regularly check data quality - it is much easier to use a service like the RDSF which provides these facilities for you.