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Storing and handling data

Data classification and planning

Understanding your own data is the first step in planning for storage and security. Make sure you have classified the sensitivity of your data, and have planned for your storage needs.

Classify your data

As described in the information protection policy, you should classify your data according to its sensitivity. There are three types: unclassified, confidential and highly confidential.

You can then decide how to store it, and what special controls you need to put in place.

The University has a range of IT policies and guidance that relate to data storage. You can also find help and guidance on our data safeguarding pages.

Discuss your storage needs with IT

The IT team will help you identify all your research data backup and storage needs, including the right storage technologies to use and the associated costs.

You should use managed and backed-up storage where possible – for example, storage provided by your faculty or central IT. Transfer data generated in the field to managed storage as soon as possible.

Refer to your data management plan

Use your full data management plan to help you understand, identify and plan for the storage you need.

Your plan should account for:

  • data characteristics eg volume, cost to reproduce, frequency of change
  • data back-up procedures, including all institutions/collaborations and transferring data generated in the field.
  • data access arrangements for local or external research collaborators
  • shared folder and file naming and versioning conventions across the team
  • allotted responsibility for the immediate day-to-day management, storage and backup of the research data.

Don’t forget to keep your data management plan up to date.