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Research Data Management: Storing Data

Storing Data

Photograph of students using a laptop computer.

Your data are the life blood of your research. If you lose your data, recovery could be slow, costly or worse, it could be impossible. Through the course of your research you will want to ensure that all your research data, regardless of format, are stored securely, backed up and maintained regularly.

You should estimate the volume of data required for your project at an early stage, probably while drawing up your data management plan. It is also a good idea to consider including costs for data storage in funding proposals. These may all sound like common sense to you now but the time will come when you will be glad that you have considered these issues right at the beginning of your research and taken the necessary precautions


As a University data are one of our most valuable assets. We are all responsible for ensuring that our data are protected. You can do this by;

  1. Making sure your anti-virus software is up to date
  2. Regularly changing your password
  3. Locking your computer screen if you leave your desk, even for a moment
  4. Encrypting your data and any sensitive emails
  5. Keeping up to date with current security alerts

If you have sensitive data that are covered by privacy laws or confidentiality agreements, consider encrypting your data or your computer. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the Eight Data Protection Act Principles when working sensitive personal data.

However, you should also be aware of physical security. Even a computer that is not connected to a network is still vulnerable to theft and malicious damage/modification to data. Highly sensitive data, regardless of physical storage medium (laptop, USB flash drives, CDs/DVDs), should be stored in a locked room or safe when not in use. Such data should not be stored or transmitted without encryption.


All Edinburgh Napier University hosted storage is secure and triple backed-up.

Externally Funded Research

For working projects, the X-drive is available with up to 0.5Tb of storage on request. On completion of externally funded projects you data will be held in a managed digital data archive service called Arkivum, which integrates with Repository@Napier. This is certified to ISO27001 and meets funder requirements for managed curation and Open Access to data.

Internally Funded Research

X-drive is available for projects with up to 10Gb of storage on request.

Research Students

V-drive is automatically assigned with 10Gb of storage.

Collaborative Data Storage

Coming soon!

Contact Information Services for more information about the storage options available to you.


With thanks to;

The University of Edinburgh (2015) Research Data MANTRA. Available at: