According to Good Scientific Practice (GSP) guidelines, all primary and secondary data must be securely stored or retained for at least 10 years after their creation.
- All research data must be stored in the Electronic Laboratory Notebook as soon as they are created. If it is a larger amount of files or if the file size exceeds the limit allowed in the ELN, the primary data must instead be stored on the archive storage, the secondary data on the standard storage.
- Due to the risk of data loss, the data may be stored additionally, but not exclusively, on USB sticks / external hard disks or even local hard disks.
- Research data (e.g. personal data) may only be additionally stored on cloud or sharing systems (e.g. dropbox, external email providers) if it complies with the Data Protection Law.
- Data records that are included in a publication / dissertation must be collected, structured and stored in the archive data storage.
- It is recommended that each workgroup designate a data administrator. He/she makes sure that the members of this group store the primary and secondary data according to a defined concept.
- A standard storage to which all members of the group can have read and write access and which complies with the "storage location policy". Read and write access should be defined by the working group on a project-specific basis and managed by the data administrator (administrator).
- An archive storage.
A concept for the clear identification of the data to the project, the experiment, the creator of the file. Here, reference can be made to the Electronic Laboratory Notebook, if the exact location of the data is referenced in the respective entries.
Data submitted in publications or in papers for obtaining academic degrees or diplomas should be ordered or named according to the following structure:
Example of an archive folder structure:
- Primary data
- Project name and name of the person responsible for the project
- Publication dates
- Working title and name of the person responsible for the project
- Raw data (only link from primary data folders)
- Evaluations and data preparation
- Tables and figures
In addition, a file should be used as a table of contents, indicating the software used to process the files.
It is recommended to have an emergency plan in case the data archive or the standard storage should not be accessible to ensure access to all stored data.
For further information, see module Documentation / Data storage.