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Research Data > 3. Collect and backup the data

This guide presents best practices in research data management

File Formats

To deposit your data in a repository:

1. Find out about the accepted data formats in the chosen repository.

2. As a general rule, use open source stable file formats and proprietary formats. Your files should be uncompressed and unencrypted.

File Naming

The file names should be unique and coherent to properly describe their contents. Ideally, the name of a file should not include special characters or spaces and should contain :

  • the name of the research project;
  • the date of collection (in YYYYMMDD format);
  • the type of data;
  • the version;
  • the name of the researcher.

Other important information about data should be included in the metadata or the ReadMe file - see Write Readme Files?????

Example @ Open Science Framework

You can use free software to rename old files.

File Organization

The organization of the files should be explicit, so the relations between the files are clear. It is recommended that you use only one folder for a project.

Data Backup

  • Preserve the raw data in a read-only format.
  • Decide who has the right to backup data and create a procedure that will be executed automatically.
  • Rule of 3: Keep two copies onsite and one offsite.
  • Backup frequently and regularly, especially after editing the data.

11 ways to avert a data-storage disaster (Nature, April 1, 2019)