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Storage and collaboration guide

A Principal Investigator (PI) should establish a research data management system for their projects, and document details in their data management plan. The PI should communicate these procedures to all group members. The procedures should ensure that the PI is able to access all data produced by the research group and must meet all applicable security requirements.

Below is a list of University-approved options for the storage, sharing, and transfer of digital research data. A glossary of the terms used in the summary is located at the end of this page.

There are circumstances, such as fieldwork, where portable devices and media (e.g. laptops, hard drives, DVDs) may be necessary to temporarily store or transfer data. Where such exceptions exist, data should be moved as soon as possible to University-approved systems. In addition, the University’s Standard Operating Procedure for Information Security Classification, Ownership and Secure Information Handling specifies:

  • All information must be stored and handled in a manner appropriate to its security classification, and the master copy of all digitally held information, regardless of its security classification, must be stored on University‐approved systems.   
  • Temporary storage of Highly Restricted or Restricted information outside of the University‐approved systems require the file, device or media to be encrypted and the device or media to be kept physically secure at all times. 
  • Highly Restricted information must always be encrypted, including data on University systems and with third‐party/cloud service providers.

To find out more about different storage and collaboration options and their characteristics, please download our guide:


  • Access Control: PI has the ability to control who can view, alter, upload, and download content. Access is secured with user name and password.
  • Backed-up: Data is regularly backed-up automatically.
  • Remote access: Service can be accessed from off-campus locations.
  • Shareable: Able to share certain data, as decided by PI, with collaborators from all over the world.
  • Version Control: Protocol set in place for versioning of data files being used by multiple users.


  • Research IT provides support and guidance on digital data solutions
  • Information Governance provides support and guidance on data protection, records management, information security and a risk review service. A risk review must be carried out for any services that are not included in the table above so that there is no risk to individuals’ privacy.