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Data Management for Wits: Backup: Dont lose your data

The following is general advice , data varies hugely between types of research and projects .

Where do you backup ? Data sevices REALLY would like to know

I backup my research in?
usb: 1 votes (7.69%)
E mailing to myself: 0 votes (0%)
harddrive: 1 votes (7.69%)
google drive: 5 votes (38.46%)
dropbox: 5 votes (38.46%)
cd: 1 votes (7.69%)
Total Votes: 13

backing up to Dropbox,Facebook and Twitter

Dropbox,Facebook,WhatsApp’s and twitter;they  run the contents  of our lives and they  simplify our life’s.And you can use them to backup of your personal information.So it natural to use them for your studies,to backup  your research

BUT ________________________________ DON'T

Each of those applications they are free because in agreeing to the services,you agree to them mining  or harvesting your personal data.That can be a big problem in itself.Remember you are the owner of your own data  and should control the use of that data.For example  see Facebook Says SEC, FBI Probing Cambridge Analytical Incident.

 The problem is that Dropbox,Facebook,WhatApp's and twitter "Knows Everything About You".And when you have research data , they know everything about your research.That not how we do research.ESPECIALLY not research on other people.If you use Dropbox to store an interview that interview is no longer as confidential as it should be.Its also might not be possible to patent that advance or idea any longer because unintentionally you have shared it.

To avoid this happening , Wits has negotiated a deal with wits Google apps for education. Here you  know that data is held safely in the university data center. Its looks like standard  Google but its not , the university negotiated the T & Cs specially  You get up to 1 gig. , if you need more , we can help you write a motivation.

 Link to the Bloomberg article

Data Privacy Drop box,Facebook,WhattApps,Instogram and Twitter

Terms of service Didn't read

"I have read and agree to the Terms" Is the biggest lie on the web. We aim to fix that.

Backup IS NOT A USB and generally not a email

"Is the process of backing up, refers to the copying into an archive file of computer data so it may be used to restore the original after the data is lost either via human error, hardware theft or technical failure ."
You need to have a backup  to avoid this,

Backup can make your life easy in the miserable situation!!

Like this one

A true story by Dudu Zwane : She agreed to share this story under her real name to impress on other postgraduates how easy it is to make these mistakes

—A WhatsApp message appeared on the postgraduate group in 2016

A friend lost her laptop and has to start her reference list from scratch. Help, please. She can pay.—SHE MUST SUBMIT BY THE END OF THE WEEK"."What happened —2016 July students doing masters’ in education has just moved to a new complex, there were contractors on contractors on site during the move, a number of units were broken into and laptops and cells phones were stolen. She really did think she was backed up, She was emailing to herself. She did not think about long-term storage or test her back up because those distinctions had never been explained to her. In the end, her emailing was random and only an incomplete version of the recent work was saved. It took 2 months to reconstruct the work including typing in a printed version of two chapters. It also took a lot of time to reconstruct and reorganize the random emails. She was not careless at all, she just got busy with the research and did not think about the organization."
The hardest part of data management is doing it consistently. Even if your project is very small, think about using one of the software systems. It is hard,  sometimes time consuming and boring work. When you write your data management plan think about what going to make it viable for you to carry this out in practice. Don't be afraid to alter or change your plans to suit the way the research evolves.

Definitions and examples

Let's suppose you have a spreadsheet: let say it records all the broken robots in Johannesburg today. If you press save then in data management terms that a working copy.If you want to Save: you press save as :

Then you create a copy on your laptop: this is a local copy, it can be on a hard drive, USB or external drive, desktop. Saving should ideally be separate from working copies to prevent overwriting.

If you want to store. You would move all the versions of the spreadsheet,the data directory, the logs, memos or notes into a folder. You might have software files such as a stats software ie spss or other analytical software files in proprietary format. Be very careful when storing files that you are not dependent on a proprietary software to open your own data. Remember licenses expire, software companies go out of business and software develops faults, crashes at critical moments and so on. Always have a copy in a generic format.

This is a set of documents in a filing system for use over a period. So you would make a set of copies of the spreadsheets, some in comma-separated values because we store in the most basic formats and put it in a file, the file in a folder the folder in a larger folder and so on.

Backup is a copy of stored files to be retrieved in the case of loss, So you would take that stored folder and create backup versions. You would also have a sync version. H is Backup is what you would use if your laptop was stolen. Backups need to be checked to see if indeed they back up.We recommend every 1 to 3 months depending on how close you are to your research deadline.