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Print and physical data

Role of Records and Archives

Research Data material is generally managed within the School. 

Records Management Services can provide advice on how to manage the storage of Research Data in a compliant manner if that will assist.

The following guidelines are available on the Intranet page for the ongoing management of Research Data:

Tasks and processes > Digital Records (Records Management Services)


Please don’t hesitate to contact if you have any further questions.

Print and Physical Data

Physical (non-electronic) data may be stored in a variety of forms including photographs, film, optical media (e.g. CDs & DVDs), magnetic media (e.g. audio and video tapes or computer storage devices), artworks, paper documents or computer printouts.

Security of physical data

All physical data associated with your research project should be kept in a secure storage facility such as a locked storage room or locked filing cabinet within the School or research unit in which they were generated or other approved facility within the University. Each person involved in the project should have access to the material they need, but any movement of items in and out of the secure storage facility should be carefully monitored so that the location of the data at any point of time is clear.

Environmental considerations

Physical formats are at risk of data loss and degradation in a variety of ways depending on the format:

  • Optical media are vulnerable to changes in temperature, humidity, air quality and lighting conditions and so should be stored in a suitable environmentally friendly environment. 
  • Magnetic media are sensitive to magnetic fields and so should be kept away from such fields.
  • Printed material may degrade over time if exposed to excessive sunlight or moisture. To preserve paper documents, use acid-free paper and store paper documents in folders or boxes. Use non-rust paper clips rather than staples to collate loose-leaf pages.


Where possible, create electronic versions of all physical data and store them on your Research Drive or Research DataSpace

Magnetic Media

  • Keep magnetic media away from magnetic fields.


  • Use acid-free paper
  • Use non-rust paper clips to collate loose-leaf pages.
  • Keep dry and away from sunlight.