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Research Data Management GuideClick here to chat with a librarian

Research Data Management (RDM) is the practice of managing, organising and preserving all of the information used to produce research, from the initial planning and searching through to post-publication. Navigate through the blue tabs above to learn more. This data comprises of a range of records such as notes, spreadsheets, surveys, emails, published material and grey literature.

Planning storage

An important part of managing your research data is planning for how you will store your data during the research process, and after your project is completed. Appropriate storage of research data will ensure that it can be accessed into the future -- this is important for data to be re-used and/or shared with other researchers, and for results to be verified.

Careful consideration needs to be given to both short- and long-term storage solutions, including:

  • The type of media and the future viability of the medium being considered
  • Back-up schedules
  • Replication
  • Regular checking of data integrity

Funders' requirements

Depending on the body responsible for funding the research, there may be legal requirements to store research data for a defined period of time. The type of research conducted may require the data to be kept indefinitely. Note that overseas funding bodies will have their own specific requirements that may differ from Australian funding bodies.

Storage solutions

Secure, cloud-based storage solutions should be considered for both short-term and long-term storage. The following are examples of Australian-based services:

  • CloudStor: cloud storage for the research and education sector hosted on the AARNet network within Australia.
  • Nectar Cloud: Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) Nectar Research Cloud enables researchers within Australia to store, access and analyse research data.


Always check and refer to Monash Health's Prompt for relevant policies and procedures. If your research project is associated with a university, there will be institution-specific requirements that you must also adhere to.

Practices for Data Storage

  • Store data uncompressed in non-proprietary or open standard formats
  • Copy or migrate data to new media every 2 - 5 years
  • Include a copy of the software used to analyse your data
  • Back-up data in different forms of storage
  • Check the data integrity at regular intervals
  • Organise and label data clearly
  • Ensure the storage location is fit for purpose and free from the risk of flood, fire, etc.
  • Create digital versions of paper-based data
  • Ensure data security for sensitive or personal data

Remember to always check and refer to Monash Health's Prompt policies and procedures when planning your research.


A researcher is responsible for appropriate use and storage of research data and should ensure the following relating to the security of research data:

  • Store paper forms securely in locked cabinets, especially consent forms
  • Data stored on transportable media should be stored in locked cabinets
  • Protect passwords -- they are confidential data and should never be shared or written down
  • Restrict use of shared accounts or group login IDs, with each research project member having a unique password that identifies them
  • Avoid using computers outside the research project domain
  • Activate lock-out functions for screensavers
  • Use secure methods of file transfer, ensuring data files are compressed and encrypted during transfer
  • Use effective data destruction methods when it is determined that data is no longer required to be stored

Remember to always check and refer to Monash Health's Prompt policies and procedures as part of the overall process when conducting this research.

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