Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Data and backups
I don't talk too much on here about the university service stuff that I do - frankly, much of it wouldn't be very interesting to most of my readers. However, this year I'm chairing Rice University's Committee on Research, and we're discussing an issue that many of you may care about: data management and preservation. Generally, principal investigators are assumed to be "responsible custodians" of data taken during research. Note that "data" can mean many things in this context - see here, for example. US federal agencies that sponsor research typically expect the PIs to hold on to their data for several years following the conclusion of a project, and that PIs will make their data available if requested. The university is legally responsible to ensure that the data is retained, in fact. There are many issues that crop up here, but the particular one on which I'd like some feedback is university storage of electronic data. If you're at a university, does your institution provide electronic (or physical, for that matter) storage space for the retention of research data? Do they charge the investigators for that storage? What kind of storage is it, and is the transfer of data from a PI's lab, say, to that storage automated? I'd be very interested in hearing either success stories about university or institutional data management, or alternately horror stories.
Posted by Douglas Natelson at 6:22 PM