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Saving and making backup copies of your data

tekijä: timapupu Viimeisin muutos torstai 19. lokakuuta 2023, 10.11

Questions in the data management plan:

1. Where do you store your data and how do you make backup copies of files during your thesis process?

2. How do you ensure data security when processing your data? Who has access to your data?


Related to the FAIR principles of Findable and Re-usable. 

By planning how to save your research data, you can ensure that you store the data in the appropriate location and, consequently, that it remains unchanged and valid.  

The use of commercial cloud services and external media is not recommended, and it can be forbidden in some cases. E.g. no Google Forms if there is personal data.

A secure location for your data: 

  • The university’s U drive is a secure place to store your data.
    • You can access U Drive from home with university VPN.
    •  Instructions for using VPN and accessing U drive (JYU digital services).
    • In our university's data policy it says that it is researchers' responsibility to use the University’s data systems to save their data
    • If confidential information or special personal data: no cloud services (not even JYU O365).
  • JYU O365 okay if no special personal data.
  • The problem with the U drive is that it is personal and that your user ID will expire when you leave the university. At that point, the content of your U drive will be deleted. That is why you should remember to answer the questions of Section 6 related to opening, publishing and archiving the data before you leave! 
  • As a member of a research group, you may have the possibility to use the group’s folder in the Nextcloud service or on drives (the S drive) that do not have the same problem as a personal U drive. You will have access to Nextcloud if you are working on your thesis in a research team and if it is necessary for data collection or processing. You can apply for access by using the form of grant researchers.
  • Both the U drive and Nextcloud are automatically backed up. However, make your own backup copies as well – especially before significant data processing measures. 
    • You can save your own backups on the U drive, but note that the code key for personal data must be kept separately in secure place, for example, a locked drawer. 
  • If the data are sensitive, they must also be transferred via a protected network, such as JYU VPN connection. Avoid using USB memory sticks. 
  • Avoid storage solutions for your own machines. Take care of the data security of your own computer if you do process materials.
  • Interviews e.g. via Teams or JYU Zoom (jyufi.zoom.us)
  • Surveys in Webropol (or REDCap if handling special personal data)

When saving data, remember particularly the following important message from the previous section: 

  • Give your files names that describe their content and design a proper folder structure for them, possibly also creating a directory to ease finding them!