Not all research data are digital. Most researchers keep hand-written laboratory notebooks, journals and other materials which are not kept on a computer at all.

These materials are at particular risk of loss, as you only have one of them so it's worth thinking about how you can make them safer. Digitising them can be easy on a small scale, and even if you only use the non-digital version, having a digital version too can give you some valuable piece of mind.

Anything stored on paper can be scanned and sent to your University e-mail or saved to your USB drive/memory stick. See Print, photocopy or scan for further information.

If it's not easy to scan, you could try taking a digital photo, but check the quality of the image to make sure you can use it if you lose the original.

Audio recordings can be turned into digital sound files, if the sound content is important, or transcribed if only the words are needed. You can do this yourself, or employ a professional transcription service if you have a lot of recordings to digitise.

If it is not practical to digitise the data or artefact, you should make sure that they are protected some other way. A fireproof safe could be a good investment.

However we advise that you get in touch with the University Records and Archives team via [email protected] to discuss your options and get specific advice on how to deal with these kinds of records.

More information