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Research Data Management: Archiving or Storing Data

Storing Data During Your Project

You need to consider where you will store your research data during your project and how you will back it up.  You will want to keep your data safe by backing it up. For important files, you should ideally have three copies: the original and two back up copies. Two different media types is best as well (for example, on your computer and in the cloud or on an external hard drive).

Where you store your data will depend on the nature of your data as well.  You should check the storage options to make sure it is appropriate for the type of data you will collect.

USU's Information Technology Office provides a  University Data Storage Matrix that includes the storage options available and the types of data each are authorized to house.

Where to Archive Research Data

Archiving Research Data

When determining where to archive your data long term, consider how it will be preserved and backed up, how it will be described (metadata), and it it will be discovered.  

If your research was funded by an agency with a data sharing requirement, archiving your data on a personal or lab computer at the end of your project is not compliant.  This applies to any federal agency with over $100M in R&D.

Depositing your data in a recognized repository related to your discipline, or to USU's Digital Commons, where your data will be backed up and is discoverable, is recommended.

You can contact me Betty Rozum if you have questions or need help identifying an appropriate repository for your data.

Where to Archive Data

Long Term Storage:
Long term storage includes the physical and electronic resources and facilities (including third party resources) that will be used to store and preserve the data after the grant ends.

Following is an example of questions asked about data storage for an NSF grant.

image of questions asked about long term storage on NSF grant


Data Archiving in DigitalCommons@USU

You may archive your data in the DigitalCommons@USU repository ( at no charge to you.

The Library provides storage space for these files as part of the DigitalCommons@USU repository. Here is a description of the repository that you can use or modify for your data management plan.  

Utah State University, through the Merrill-Cazier Library, provides institutional repository services through the bepress Digital Commons platform.  DigitalCommons@USU supports all file types and formats.  Files are provided with persistent URLs, and if needed, Library staff can obtain DOIs for datasets.  The system is able to produce license and copyright statement as needed, and creates standard citations. All files are backed up at multiple sites, including cloud storage. Preservation copies are stored in Amazon Web Services, with redundant storage across multiple facilities and are regularly verified for integrity of data using checksums.

  • To arrange to store research data, set up a consultation with a designated librarian by emailing

Data Management Plan Tool

linked icon for DMP Tool