The technical infrastructure supporting the lifecycle of research data includes IT solutions, processes and instructions at all stages of research, from planning to completion of data processing. These constitute a whole aimed at ensuring the secure processing of data throughout their life cycle.
In most cases, there is already a fairly good understanding of the nature of the data and the main lines of the processing when applying funding for the project. The IT solutions to be used, the possible sensitivity of the data and, if necessary, additional safeguarding methods based on a risk assessment should be outlined in the data management plan. Read more about the information on the identification and assessment of the sensitivity of data in more detail on the university intra.
As legislation changes and technical solutions develop, it is important that researchers have readily available expert support already during the preparatory phase of research. The Data Services, coordinated by the Library, offers services and tools for managing research data to the staff and students of the Tampere higher education community on a one-stop-shop basis, with a multiprofessional team.
During the active phase of research, when data is being collected, it is important to find tools suitable for storing and processing the data right from the start. The university community's IT services offer different storage and processing environments for research data. In order to find a suitable solution to your data, various issues need to be taken into account: the sensitivity of the data, the technical preconditions set for the data, the legal framework, user management and the costs. The selection should always be based on a risk assessment.
When planning the life cycle of data, it is important to consider data security from at least two perspectives: how the data is being protected against data loss and, how unauthorised handling of data is prevented. In the services provided by the higher education community, these perspectives have been taken into account through, for example, access management, verification policy, maintenance rules and agreements, audits and special security solutions. Regular information security and data management trainings also play an important role in ensuring that data are handled responsibly.
At the end of the life cycle of the data, it is important to take into account what has been agreed on the preservation of the data. In some cases, the data may be stored and published long-term (PAS) for reuse. In some situations, for example, the research funder may require that the data will be stored for a predetermined period. Data may also need to be destroyed securely after the research has been completed. The appropriate solution should be based on a risk assessment and, if necessary, it is advised to use services provided by higher education community’s reliable partners in order to, for example, destroy data.
The use of a safe and secure storage provided and maintained by your organisation’s IT support is preferable.
When choosing a storage for the research data, you have to consider several things:
If you can answer these questions, it helps to determine what kind of storage system you need. Storage services provided by Tampere higher education community can be modified according to need.
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Personal storage space
Group storage space
Research Data Services assist the staff and students of the Tampere higher education community in matters related to research data management. What we do:
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With backups we refer to the creation of additional copies of your data that can be used to restore data if the original is damaged or deleted. You should always have at least 3 copies of your data, and copies should be geographically distributed.
Many data storage systems have automatic backup functions and even some version management tools are included. It's recommended to choose your data storage according to that if possible. Do not count backup functions as a part of version management though, you should always have other copies of your data despite of backups.
The idea of version control is to make copies of files while processing them further and to be able to go back and retrieve earlier version of any file if needed. It is important to ensure that different copies in all different locations are subject to version control. You can manage your version control many ways. A simple version control can just be based on saving multiple versions of your files and naming them descriptively enough. This method might not be enough if collaborating with multiple people though, it would be better to establish some ground rules for version control.
Some storage services offer version control features like snapshots and backup versioning, some services automatically create new versions of your files every time you modify them and some services offer version branching and merging. These are technical tools for version control to enhance working or to help users in situations when their own version control fails. Version control tools like snapshots or any backup related tools should not be regarded as a part of your version management as backups are for recovering from the worst case scenarios when your own version control fails.
Access to personal data must be limited to those individuals for whom it is necessary in order to carry out the research. Please take into account that this group also includes the parties that maintain the services and equipments used, and other external service providers, if any.