Hard drives are bound to break at some point. In many cases, they do not even keep going long enough to retain research data for ten years in accordance with good research practice.
Data gone – research gone. If you back your data up regularly, you are on the safe side. Clouds are convenient but problematic: in many cases, it is unclear where the data is stored or what will happen if the provider gets hacked or goes bankrupt. Selecting a reliable platform (e.g. Sciebo) and using an additional storage method (e.g. University servers) provides security.
Lifetime of storage media
- Hard drives: 2 to 10 years
- DVDs: up to 30 years
- USB flash drives: 10 to 30 years
Keep at least 3 copies of your data on 2 different types of storage media and 1 backup copy at an external location.
Hard drives can get lost; repositories cannot. Valuable data should be stored and secured in a way that keeps it permanently accessible. Repositories or other services offered by the University are suited for this purpose.