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Guide to the DMP Assistant Template for Systematic Review Projects

Companion guide to the Portage DMP Assistant Template for Systematic Review Projects

Active storage and backup

How and where will your data be stored and backed up during your research project?

Where will you store the data so all team members can access it? If you are not working with sensitive data, common cloud storage solutions like Dropbox or Google Drive may be acceptable. Consider who should have control or ownership over the shared account. Software to facilitate the systematic review process or for citation management such as Covidence or Endnote may be used for active data storage of records and PDFs.

Will you want to update and republish? If so, a longer-term, more permanent storage space may be necessary. Data as well as documentation will be useful if you decide to update your systematic review in 5 or 10-years. You may want to create a non-proprietary format backup copy of the data exported from proprietary software (used during active data storage) for re-use at a later date for an update.

If your meta-analysis includes individual patient-level data, you will require secure storage for that data.

Remember: The general rules of backup also apply. The risk of losing data can be mitigated by following the 3-2-1 backup rule: Have at least three copies of your data; store the copies on two different media; keep one backup copy offsite.


How will the research team and other collaborators access, modify, and contribute data throughout the project?

Who will retain access to the shared storage space and for how long? Consider who should be the owner of the account. If necessary, have a process for transferring ownership of files in the event of personnel changes.

An ideal solution is one that facilitates cooperation and ensures data security, yet is able to be adopted by users with minimal training. Relying on email for data transfer is not a robust or secure solution.