How RSpace Can Help Prevent Data Loss (for Edinburgh)

This information is only applicable to Edinburgh RSpace users.

There are many aspects to this issue. Three key ones are discussed below – actual loss of data, practical loss of data, and failure to record data. Using RSpace, or any other electronic lab notebook, can help protect against loss of data but can only ever be part of a broader solution which includes the broader IT environment and lab practices.

 Actual loss of data 

This could arise from loss of backups, outage, disk failure, or malicious deletion. RSpace is deployed on a server that is owned and maintained by Information Services, which ensures regular maintenance and provides regular backups. Malicious deletion is not possible because no data entered into RSpace is actually ever deleted.  Data marked for deletion is simply hidden, and can always be restored.

Practical loss of data 

This could happen when data exists, but its location is unknown, or it is inaccessible. This problem is greatly reduced by using an electronic recording system like RSpace. RSpace provides a whole range of utilities which can be used to effectively find data whose location is unknown, including a powerful and fine grained search function, the ability to create folders which can be displayed in tree or list views, and an audit trail that records all actions taken and can be searched using various parameters.

Failure to record data

This is a procedural issue for lab management, and can occur with paper or electronic recording systems.


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