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Love your data - The importance of multiple backups

Author: Ashling Hayes
Categories: research data management
When: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 22:00

Raise a hand if you’ve ever lost a usb stick! The number of cases we hear about of, lost usbs, external hard drives and even computers is harrowing. Remember this guy? He needed some J.K. Rowling magic to find his data.

So keeping current backups of your data is essential. We recommend you follow the LOCKSS principle, Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe. With a minimum of 3 copies of the data.

1. Copy that you are currently working on. This could be on your local computer

2. Nightly or more frequent backup. This could be on a networked drive

3. Off-site regularly updated backup. An external hard drive that is backed up at least weekly.

You might think this is overkill and that one overnight backup is sufficient, however take a look at this cautionary tale from the creators of Toy Story 2


Their experience shows us that we really do need multiple back-ups, processes and of course testing the back-ups regularly.

If you wish to publish the data underlying your publications you can publish the data  in our Zenodo Community and make your publications Open Access by depositing the accepted manuscript in our repository ULIR

If you want more information or help with your Research Data Management. Contact Ashling.hayes@ul.ie

Love Data Week 2019 is taking place February 11 – 15. Follow along at #lovedataweek or #lovedata2019 on Twitter