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Food and nutritional sciences research project guidance: File and data management

Resources and links to guide you through your research project.

Managing data during the course of your research involves a number of practical considerations and activities. You should think about storing, organising and backing up your data and files. 

Storage

Don't risk losing your research results or project report by saving it in an insecure location, or not taking regular back ups. If all your files are stored on your laptop what will you do if it fails or is stolen?

 

USB stickUse the University's OneDrive service for storing all your files or as a backup location.

If you are using your device's storage make sure you take frequent backups to OneDrive or an external hard drive/USB. Make sure you have at least one backup copy in another location.

Any personal data or sensitive information should be encrypted.

If you are using Desktop EndNote use the File > Save a copy option to save a back up of your library and its associated data folder. Note that Desktop EndNote libraries should be used on your device's storage to avoid corruption, but you can save backup copies to a cloud location such as OneDrive.

Organising your files and data

An example of a folder structureFile naming

Aim for concise but informative names

  • You should be able to tell what’s in a file without opening it
  • Use names to classify broad types of file/content
Think about the ordering of elements within a filename
  • YYYY-MM-DD dates allow chronological sorting
  • You can force an order by adding a number at the beginning of the name
Consider including version information
Organisation
Use a logical, hierarchical folder structure to store your files, grouping files in categories, and descending from broad high-level categories to more specific folders within these. Don't have too many levels or it will become too complicated. If you are using OneDrive you could share selected folders with you supervisor if necessary.