Backing up data

Information on where to back up research data.

Making regular backups of your research data can help protect against accidental or malicious data loss. Choosing what to back up and when will depend on the quantity and type of data that your research generates.

The UK Data Archive provides useful guidance on things to consider when choosing a backup procedure, including how often to back up and the type of media to use.

Restrictions on backup and storage locations may apply if the data contains personal information or is of a confidential nature. The working with project partners section provides links to useful data-protection resources.

The University central storage areas (SharePoint, H and S drives, OneDrive for Business) provide the best place to keep your information secure and safe because:

  • They are backed up regularly. If you accidentally delete a file, it could be recovered from a backup. Note this will depend on when the file was deleted.
  • They allow you to remotely access your files.
  • They allow files to be accessed only by the individuals that need them.
  • OneDrive for Business provides you with the ability to share files with authorised non-UWE Bristol staff.


  • Storing files on local drives (a drive installed inside of or connected to your computer). They may not be backed up or secure.
  • Using other cloud storage services (eg DropBox). The UWE Bristol cloud storage service is OneDrive for Business, it is secure and supported by IT Services.
  • Using external hard drives, USB drives or other external storage. These are not backed up and easily lost. If you must use external storage, encrypt the device before use.

Further information can be found as follows:

  • The File Storage intranet guide explains where you should store the files you use for your work at UWE Bristol. The storage services included here are supported by IT Services. They are secure, backed up and compliant with our data protection and information security obligations.
  • The InfoSec Toolkit – Secure Storage is ITS guidance regarding secure storage and encryption.



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