Researchers should make a data management plan, ideally at the time of the grant application. A research digital data management plan considers vital aspects of the research data including
the sensitivity and security of the data and plans to comply with data security requirements of 3rd party data suppliers, of granting agencies, of ethics approvals, etc.
acquiring and storing the data initially
making backup copies of data (and considering the security and compliance requirements of the backups)
recording appropriate metadata (methodology or parameters for the associated data sets)
deciding who has which permissions to view, edit or delete data
plans for making it possible for other researchers to find and access research data in order to validate your work or conduct subsequent research. This is starting to become a requirement of some research funding agencies.
plans for eventual long term archiving or deletion of research data
For small amounts of storage, the Cabinet facility is available to give researchers access to data storage that is backed up.
Additional disk space (and associated backups) can be arranged for fee on the Jade Service.
ITS is piloting the DataShare service for researchers who require larger, shared data space.
HPC users or users with exceptionally large data storage requirements can apply for free allocations on the WestGrid/Compute Canada national HPC infrastructure. Requests are reviewed by a Resource Allocation Committee. Contact email@example.com to reach the HPC Coordinator, Jason Hlady.
There are several options for making backup copies of research data, the simplest being storing data in the first place on a backed-up institutional service listed above. ICT is evaluating new backup tools for researchers during the 2013-14 year. Researchers can also make copies onto DVD disks or external drives.
Plans should be made for keeping research records from a project after the project has finished. The Procedures for Stewardship of Research Records at the University of Saskatchewan, within the Research Integrity Policy, requires a minimum storage of 5 years, but some funding agencies may have more stringent requirements. While the data need not be accessible on-line, the choice of storage medium (or media) should include consideration of the availability of devices that will be able to read that medium at the end of the retention period.