Storage and backup

Where you store your research data is a key component of responsible research and good research data management practice.

As outlined in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018, you have a responsibility for storing and managing your research data in a manner appropriate to the risks associated with any confidentiality or sensitivities within the data and materials.

When you are selecting where to store research data, consider the following:

Research data:
  • What are the security classifications of the data to be stored?
  • How does the data need to be accessed and used?
  • Who will require access to the data?
Storage option:
  • Is it appropriate for the security classification of your data?
  • What security systems are in place?
  • What recovery procedures are in place?
  • What is the availability of support by professional IT staff?

Security Classifications and storing research data

The first step in selecting the appropriate storage option for your research is to determine the security classification of the data. Monash researchers must store their research data on services engineered to meet the security requirements of that data. You are not permitted to store data on services that do not match the appropriate security classifications.

Identify the security classification of your research data


Where your research involves different security classifications, and you want to use a single storage service, then you must use the service that meets the highest level of classification, not the lowest.

Storage options for researchers

Personal and portable storage devices

It is not recommended to store research data on personal devices (e.g. laptops) or portable storage device (e.g. thumb drive or external hard drives) due to the high risk of the failure or loss of these devices. Only short-term working copies should be stored this way.

Backup of data

As a researcher, you are responsible for ensuring that research data is backed up regularly.

Data stored on Monash managed storage is automatically backed up.

If you store working copies of research files on personal devices you will need to perform regular backups to the recommended Monash storage.