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What type of information do I need for making backups & storage?

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  • In reviewing your options for storing your data collection, consider these six issues* when selecting your storage media:
  1. Longevity - Your chosen media should have a proven life span of at least ten years
  2. Capacity - Make sure that your media can adequately store your the content you have now and the content you plan to collect in the future
  3. Viability - The media you choose should support error detection and data recovery 
  4. Obsolescence - Choose technology that is well established and widely available
  5. Cost - Consider both the cost for purchasing the media and the cost for maintaining it over time
  6. Susceptibility - The media you choose should show a low susceptibility to data loss and physical damage 

* Brown, Adrian.  "Selecting storage media for long-term preservation."  Note 2 in Digital Preservation Guidance.  National Archives, August 2008.



The DataONE website includes a Best Practices guide that offers recommendations on how to effectively store and backup data for long-term preservation.

The UK Data Archive website provides several pages of content directly related to backing up and storing data.  It outlines considerations for the selection of a data storage strategy.



  • Rumsey, Abby Smith. But Storage Is Cheap: Digital Preservation in the Age of Abundance. New Haven, CT: Yale University, 2011.

Abby Smith Rumsey, historian and Consulting analyst on the use of the cultural record in a variety of media, gives her views on digital preservation and the role of research libraries in the preservation of electronic media.



  • Baker, Mary, Mehul Shah, David S. H. Rosenthal, Mema Roussopoulos, Petros Maniatis, TJ Giuli, and Prashanth Bungale. “A Fresh Look at the Reliability of Long-term Digital Storage.” In Proceedings of the 2006 EuroSys Conference, 40:221–234. Leuven, Belgium: ACM Press, 2006. doi:10.1145/1217935.1217957.

Emerging Web services, such as email, photo sharing, and web site archives, must preserve large volumes of quickly accessible data indefinitely into the future. The costs of doing so often determine whether the service is economically viable. We make the case that these applications' demands on large scale storage systems over long time horizons require us to reevaluate traditional system designs. 

It is now abundantly clear that researchers must consider the preservation and sharing of their data as a key component of any research effort. The problem that arises, for the researcher and the granting agency, is how to fund and manage such preservation in a sustainable way. Grant funding typically is for projects of limited duration. How can we fund and sustain long-term, indefinite preservation of research data if our grant models involve short-term, limited resourcing? This article proposes a model for doing exactly that. The model can be summed-up with the phrase:  Pay Once, Store Forever (POSF)

This study examined the current provision and future needs of curation of primary research data in the UK, particularly within the e-Science context.  It summarises the strategic and policy analyses and outlines proposals for the organisational structuring of curation provision and provides a table showing which recommendations address the findings.

Challenges someone to create the negative click, positive value repository (which he calls a Research Repository System) and suggests it should contain these elements: web orientation, researcher identity management, authoring support, object disclosure control, data management support, persistent storage, full preservation archive, and spinoffs.

Section on Storing Your Data (pages 17-21) provides best practice for making back-ups, data storage, data security, data transmission and encryption, and data disposal.

Last updated on 10/03/13, 12:21 am by tlchristian


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