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The Graduate Health & Life Sciences Research Library at Georgetown University Medical Center

Research Data Management

Best practices and tools for managing your research data.

3-2-1 Rule

To keep data safe, it is recommended that you maintain three copies:

  1. Original
  2. External hard drive in a different physical location from the original (e.g., saved to external hard drive that is periodically updated)
  3. Secure cloud service

Storage Best Practices and Options

It is also recommended that backups be saved in open or standard file formats, and not be compressed or encrypted (though sensitive data may require encryption, see below). Utilize hard drives (with backups), departmental or university servers, and commercial cloud storage. Do not use CDs or DVDs as these have been known to fail frequently.

Resources at Georgetown