Remote Research Toolkit

Data Management

Storing data

When working remotely data management issues will be similar to those considered for field work, however, there will likely be an increased amount of digital data that needs managing and storing securely due to an increase in online communication. Secure password protected data storage options in which all files are encrypted include:

  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox

Where portable devices must be used, they must be password protected with data removed and secured as soon as possible to one of these secure storage locations. On smartphones, it is usually possible to save data directly into the OneDrive (or other similar locations) via an app on the phone. It is important to ensure that this is password protected, otherwise anyone who with access to the phone could access all the data in the OneDrive.

Transferring data

Where data must be transferred it should be done via upload to the corresponding section of your encrypted file storage system.

If this is not possible due to lack of Wi-Fi connection, it can be shared either via secure business email and saved to the file storage system, or alternatively, WhatsApp offers end to end encrypted messages for sharing data which can then be saved to the file storage system.

Maintaining anonymity

Some research participants may wish to remain anonymous for which online and remote research requires added consideration for conducting workshops and storing data. Software which allows for manual name changing, such as Zoom, may be preferable (see Tools and Equipment) and an agreed upon pseudonym or use of initial to be used throughout the research project can be used for saving files and documents pertaining to informed consent, workshops, interviews etc.

University of Nottingham

School of Politics and International Relations
Law and Social Sciences building
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact Helen McCabe