Curtin has developed the Research data storage explorer to help students and staff identify the best places to store their research data.
The explorer asks a series of questions and uses the information to narrow down storage options. It then shows a table of information, allowing you to compare features of the recommended choices.
Who is this for? – the explorer is intended for Curtin HDR students and staff who work with research data.
When should it be used? – the explorer should be used when making decisions about data storage and access, e.g., while completing a data management plan (DMP). The explorer can also be useful when your storage needs change.
Analysing data? – The eResearch page has tools and contacts for general data analysis. If you need extra computational power, the explorer can recommend options with integrated cloud computing.
Data classification? – If you aren’t sure how to classify your data, have a look at data sensitivity for additional help.
How do I get help? – if you need help with the explorer, start by checking the information here in the Research Toolkit. If that doesn’t answer your question, please contact the Library Research Data team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What if it doesn’t find a suitable storage option? – if the explorer is unable to find storage options that meet your needs, or if you have feedback, please contact the Library Research Data team at: email@example.com
Tip - If the information icons don’t display help info when clicked, please search for how to enable pop-ups for specific sites for the web browser you are using.
The Research Drive (or R: drive) is a shared network drive for storing research data at Curtin University. It is the main and default storage option for research data generated by Curtin staff and students. It is provided by DTS and is hosted on AWS.
Please note the following regarding the R: drive:
Once your drive is created, changes to access and storage space can be requested from DTS. Please see the links below on how to make these requests.
Requesting change of access permission to an R: drive
This DTS self-help page describes how to change who can access your R: drive (page requires staff log-in)
Requesting additional storage for an R: drive
This DTS self-help page describes how to request additional storage for an R: drive (page requires staff log-in)
Your R: drive should be located in the networked drives whenever you log on to any Curtin computer.
If you need to access your R: drive on your own personal laptop while on campus, please follow the DTS guide to mapping the R: drive.
If you need to access your R: drive while off campus on your own laptop, please follow the DTS guide to using the Curtin VPN client. Once completed, follow the guide for mapping the drive.
For pages that require a staff log-in, students can find the information through Oasis or SupportU.
DTS give the following recommendations when using the Research Drive:
As you plan your research, one single data storage option will not be the best option over all the phases of your research. You may use another option to analyse your data or make it easier for collaborators to access. All research projects will need to use more than one data storage location over the project’s life, if only for backups and retention.
Because frequently moving your active data between storage locations increases the risk of data leakage and miscommunication with collaborators or supervisor, you should plan, document, and communicate (if relevant) how your storage locations will interact and overlap.
You should consider the following:
If you are regularly moving data between multiple storage options, you should consider regularly applying checksums to confirm the integrity of the transferred dataset. DTS recommends using WinMD5Free which is available via Software Centre on Curtin managed computers.
When considering the suitability of various storage methods for your research data, you should keep in mind that reliable storage methods come with a cost - and usually the greater the storage space required, the greater the cost.
Some cloud services may provide their services free of charge if your data size requirements are low. Others may charge you by the gigabyte or terabyte once you reach a certain dataset size; other will charge by how often you upload and download the data.
Whatever your choice of storage location, by staying aware of what data you need to store, you can control the cost to yourself or your institution.
Digital & Technology Solutions (DTS) support
DTS provide support for all Curtin-provided storage methods.
Information Management and Archives guides
Curtin Information Management and Archives (CIMA) provide useful materials and assistance on a range of topics around information storage at Curtin. (page requires Curtin log-in).