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Store and access data

Ever felt the frustration of having lost your work, or it falling into unwanted hands? Considering your storage and access needs may just avoid these problems.


As part of sound data management, you will need to decide such things as:

  • where and how to store your data 
  • backup methods
  • to whom you need to provide access, both during your project and after its completion.

You can consult the Storage section of the Data Management Plan to guide your thinking on your storage needs. See attachment on Create a Data Plan page.

What should I consider to determine my storage and access needs?

When determining your needs for digital data storage, you should consider questions such as:

  • what is the project's anticipated data volume over the period of the project? (e.g. 1gb per week for 3 months)
  • who requires access to the data, when and via what means?(e.g file sharing via your desktop, connectivity via your web browser)
  • what data formats will be used and can these be readily migrated to newer/other formats? (eg Excel, CSV, text, NetCDF files,.doc,.jpg, .plt )
  • how will your chosen storage facility meet privacy and security requirements? (e.g are you sharing the data with Macquarie and/or external colleagues ?)
  • is the storage medium suitable for long-term storage or will you need to migrate it for archiving purposes?
  • will you deal differently with working data and final datasets?

What are my storage responsibilities?

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research's Section 2.6  'Manage storage of research data and primary materials' states that Researchers must:

2.6.1   Keep clear and accurate records of the research methods and data sources, including any approvals granted, during and after the research process.
2.6.2   Ensure that research data and primary materials are kept in safe and secure storage provided, even when not in current use.
2.6.3   Provide the same level of care and protection to primary research records, such as laboratory notebooks, as to the analysed research data.
2.6.4   Retain research data, including electronic data, in a durable, indexed and retrievable form.
2.6.5   Maintain a catalogue of research data in an accessible form.

2.6.6   Manage research data and primary materials according to ethical protocols and relevant legislation.

What are my storage options at Macquarie?

This is a guide to options presently available to researchers:

Science researchers
If you are a member of the Science Faculty, please consider your options via their webpages at: Science IT storage

All researchers: 
Low-volume (up to approx. 10 GB) data storage, for use amongst a team of Macquarie staff   
If you require low-volume storage performance (not low-latency), and this data is to be shared with a team of people who are Macquarie staff, you can use Macquarie's Truth system, which creates descriptors about your datasets, and provides versioning and search facilities. For a summary of Truth's features, see About Truth.   Please Request Truth help (ask a question) and include information about your storage and collaboration needs.

All researchers:
Medium volume (above 10 GB) data storage, for use amongst Macquarie and external staff    
If you require greater than a low volume of storage OR you require access for a team which includes non-Macquarie collaborators, please log a OneHelp Request by emailing help@mq.edu.au, including 'Research Data Storage Request' in the email subject and including the information about your storage and collaboration needs.

What are my storage options beyond Macquarie?

Federated Australian research cloud -  NeCTAR Research Cloud    The NeCTAR Research Cloud allows researchers to publish research data, share knowledge and rapidly deploy and access software applications without the burden of operating your own computer servers.

Provisions for up to 100GB, stored in Australia - Cloudstor+    CloudStor+ is a new service that helps researchers easily and securely store files in the cloud. Macquarie is a member of AARNET - Australia's Academic and Research Network - and has access to CloudStor+. Authentication and authorisation are being provided via the Australian Access Federation (AAF)

Provisions for data intensive research - RDSI  If your data is assessed as 'valuable for future research,' you may be eligible to access the RDSI - Research Data Storage Infrastructure.  The RDSI project aims to allow researchers to use and manipulate significant collections of data that were previously either unavailable or difficult to access. Further details and an application are available on Intersect's Data Storage page.

What future storage options will Macquarie provide?

In 2014 Macquarie will be evaluating and undertaking more comprehensive storage solutions based on demand.  To make enquiries about this, please check with Informatics by emailing ask.products@mq.edu.au