Evidence Promoting Good Data Management

If you have any additional examples that you would like to share, please email them to: rdm.c4dm at gmail.com

Disasters!

General list of destroyed libraries on Wikipedia!

Earthquake!

L'Aquila earthquake, Italy

A major casualty of the last week’s earthquake in Italy could be valuable research work done by a UK-based charity over the last two years.

Leukaemia Busters, Southampton, has been developing pioneering drugs in a clinic in the quake-hit city of L'Aquila.

Dr David Flavell, from the charity, said it was likely specially engineered leukaemia cells used to produce anti-bodies had been lost.

Two years of life-saving research into the treatment of a killer disease feared lost forever by a Hampshire charity has incredibly survived the Italian earthquake disaster.

Leukaemia Busters were delighted to discover that laboratories where scientists had spent the past two-and-a-half years working to develop pioneering drugs to fight leukaemia remain standing.

The unbelievable news came after rescue workers allowed Professor Rodolfo Ippoliti into the devastated city of L’Aquila and see for himself the destruction caused by the 6.3 magnitude quake.

Tohoku earthquake, Japan 2011

We have heard that research facilities and equipment at many universities and research institutions in the Tohoku and Kanto regions were damaged as a result of this disaster, and many scientists and students have been forced to stop their research because their valuable research samples or data have been lost. All of the staff and the researchers at NIH are deeply distressed by the devastation that has struck Japan.

Fire!

Southampton University Mountbatten building U. of York Chemistry - 1980 U. of York History - 1992 U. of York, fire in student room - 1993 U. of York chemistry building Strathclyde university engineering department
  • Further disruption for Strathclyde teaching students 12 September 2012 (The Journal)
    bq. The disruption began on 7 February when 150 students had to be evacuated as a fire started in the Roche Lab in the university's chemical engineering department, forcing the university to relocate lectures across the campus including the Royal College, and Students' Association building on John Street.
University of Glasgow

Professor Sir Graeme Davies said that a substantial amount of research had been lost in the fire.

Hurricane

Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Sandy

When Hurricane Sandy struck New York, it washed away years of scientific research from the New York University School of Medicine, including genetically modified mice, enzymes, antibodies and DNA strands.

Flooding and blackouts caused by super storm Sandy have had a devastating impact on scores of scientists in the Big Apple, with one research center losing thousands of lab mice as well as precious reagents—a situation that could set some researchers back years.

Although New York University (NYU) was clearly the research facility hardest hit by this week’s storm, others were also affected. Leslie Vosshall, who studies the olfactory system of mosquitoes at Rockefeller University, located about 35 blocks further up river from NYU, shut down a computer server in the basement on Sunday, but fears it could have been damaged from flooding. She has had to wait for the university to pump out the water, before she can check on it. “We do have some of the data backed up elsewhere, but it would set us back significantly.”

Sandy and Allison...

In 2001, a tropical storm called Allison flooded Houston with several feet of rain and pushed 10 million gallons of water into the medical-school basements at the University of Texas. The disaster drowned at least 4,000 rats and mice, along with 78 monkeys, 35 dogs, and 300 rabbits. (More than half the animals on campus had been living underground.) Nearby, at the Baylor College of Medicine, basement flooding killed 30,000 mice.

Tropical storm Allison

Soaked hard drives and drowned lab animals may delay new medical discoveries by months or years, but hope survives as research facilities dry out.

Tropical Storm Allison's flood caused the following losses at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas-Houston Medical School:
One calf
Thirty-five dogs
Seventy-eight monkeys
Several hundred rabbits
More than 30,000 transgenic mice and rats
A state-of-the-art MRI machine worth $2 million
Ten years' worth of data on spinal cord injuries
A 20-year collection of 60,000 breast tumor samples

As well as destroying research animals, the floodwater has swamped computers. It has also caused power failures, knocking out the refrigerators and freezers used to store samples for research. Back-up cell cultures used for research into cancer at the Baylor College of Medicine will have died, say local officials.

Flood

HONOLULU — Heavy rain sent water as much as 8 feet deep rushing through the University of Hawaii's main research library Saturday, destroying irreplaceable documents and books, toppling doors and walls and forcing a few students to break a window to escape.

Lyttle's genetic research on the Drosophila goes back 35 years and some of it is irretrievably lost, he said.

McBride and much of the library staff worked all day Sunday to try to save some of the 90,000 photographs stored in the basement along with rare government documents and Hawaiian maps.

The flood also destroyed computers, books, magazines and equipment.

  • Classes canceled at UH on Wednesday 2 November 2004 (kpua.net)
    bq. ...But researchers at the University of Hawaii, which was hard hit, say the flash flood caused untold losses of research damage in computers damaged by flood waters.

Tales Of Lost Data

Recovery of Overwritten Hard Disk Data

5 October 2005 Linux Forums - http://tinyurl.com/8t7uaop

Hi, a friend of mine just overwrote two months of her PhD thesis with an older version. I know recovery of overwritten data is possible, but wonder if I'd need special hardware to do it. Does anyone know something about this ?

Thank You.

Stolen laptop had PhD research

19 March 2008 Surrey Leader - http://tinyurl.com/9hmtlv4

Thirty-five minutes spent in Langley’s Willowbrook Shopping Centre cost a Surrey woman much more than she had anticipated.

Langley RCMP say that while she was shopping from 1-1:35 p.m. last Monday, someone broke into her vehicle and stole a number of items, including a Mac iBook laptop containing the research she had compiled as she worked towards her PhD.

“All that information was on that computer and she has no back-up file,” said Langley RCMP spokesman Cpl. Brenda Marshall.

Google images of Langley Willowbrook

Happiness is the return of a stolen computer, with data intact

27 May 2010 The Press, NZ - http://tinyurl.com/38sznnh

Never has a man been so happy to see a computer full of data spreadsheets.

Claudio De Sassi's world fell apart when a car containing almost three years work towards his PhD was stolen two weeks ago. De Sassi, a Canterbury University academic, could not hide his joy yesterday as police reunited him with his stolen laptop and backpack.

Thugs steal Christmas, doctoral dreams

22 December 2010 KRQE - http://tinyurl.com/9a5j56f

A tiny television sits where a big screen used to, and a Christmas tree stands with little underneath it...

Even worse than the gifts, the crooks stole a MacBook Pro laptop and a LaCie hard drive.

The hard drive had … her dissertation and nearly seven years of research for her doctoral degree she was set to fnish in a few weeks. Osuna had everything backed up on a separate hard drive in a safe, but burglars made off with that too.

"All I could think about is that all that time is gone, all that effort, everything is gone," Osuna said.

Stolen hard drive contained almost completed PhD thesis

11 October 2012 Wanneroo Times - http://tinyurl.com/bw8nteo

A HOCKING mother has pleaded for the people who broke into her home on Saturday to return a portable hard drive containing her almost completed PhD thesis.

...“They stole two laptops, one of which has my thesis on it, as well as my portable hard drive, which had my back-up on it, as well as a TV and my husband’s mobile phone,” she said.

... The ECU Joondalup postgraduate student said the portable hard drive was worth less than $30, but was priceless to her.

Laptop Stolen From OSU Doctoral Student

NBC4i January 06 2011 - http://tinyurl.com/bmybv9x

...her car was broken into and her chrome Mac book pro was stolen. She has a back-up for all but the last six months of research, but the most important part of the research had happened recently.

Lost Thesis Poster

http://twitpic.com/45t7vu

Recovery

PostgraduateForum.com > Current PhD Students, PhD Life. 29 September 2011 - http://tinyurl.com/ct5e2no

I've 'lost' my thesis

Yes, I 'lost' my thesis today, at around 12:42pm (thesis RIP), microsoft word couldn't cope with the size of the document and my file got corrupted. I'd removed a small chunk of it and did some formatting to decrease its size yesterday but that obviously didn't stop it happening. After a few hours trying to recover it, I gave in and called for help. I then found out that, even if I'd managed to recover it, it probably wouldn't be the whole document, there could be parts missing, formatting gone awol, etc No sweat though, I regularly back up my work so it's just today's work that's been lost, well morning and lunch really as I spent the afternoon attempting to savage it,-) bit stressful but hey ho, not the end of the world. So for those of you who don't back your work up, start doing it now! And regularly! I can't possibly imagine what would have happened to me if I'd really lost everything weeks before submission...

Saving the data!

AG Daws blog Back It Up 1 August 2011 - http://tinyurl.com/dyntczd

I was busy in the lab one day writing my Honours thesis when the fire alarm went off. I assumed it was a drill. I kept on writing. That is, until the fire warden found me. He said the lab next door was on fire and told me to get the hell outside with everybody else.

I stared at him, then at the ageing Apple Macintosh computer with all of my precious words painstakingly hammered into place with two fingers. (This was before I could touch-type.) Then I looked at the jars of extremely flammable fixative and solvents and God-only-knows-what-else lining the shelves. (This was also before occupational health and safety was given much credence.)

I can tell you one thing—Word’s auto-save feature didn’t give me much comfort on that day. I fought off the fire warden long enough to unplug the computer from the wall and disentangle it from various peripherals. Then I carried the damned thing downstairs in my arms.

That was when I started backing up my work religiously.

Thesis Writing: Backing Up

Making Bones blog, 4 September 2012 - http://tinyurl.com/d7k83z8

I used to transfer my files between computers on an external hard drive. This meant I had all my files on both my work and home computer and the external hard drive. This worked until instead of working on the actual computer and then transferring files between computers I decided it was easier to just keep the most recent copy on the external. Soon I was only using the external and my computer files were a few months out of date. Then, one day, the external got knocked off a table and broke when it hit the floor. The files had to be restored by a technology company for $1600. This, obviously, was not what was meant by “backing up”.

...I do have one special backup method for my thesis write-up. A USB necklace. If the internet dies, my hard-drive gets smashed by a bulldozer, and both of my computers go up in flames, I’ll still have my thesis around my neck.

Mistakes happens everywhere...

Toy Story II Blu-Ray extras

Someone /rm */ing the movie... and the backups having been failing... and recovering the movie from a copy that someone working at home had taken with tem.

www.techdirt.com/articles/20120514/17243918918/how-toy-story-2-almost-got-deleted-except-that-one-person-made-home-backup.shtml

http://www.tested.com/art/movies/44220-how-pixar-almost-lost-toy-story-2-to-a-bad-backup/

http://larchivista.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/how-toy-story-2-was-almost-lost.html

http://thenextweb.com/media/2012/05/21/how-pixars-toy-story-2-was-deleted-twice-once-by-technology-and-again-for-its-own-good/

When a size command was run on the Toy Story 2 directory, it was only 10% of the size it should have been. 90% of the movie had been deleted by the stray command.

YouTube copy of video: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EL_g0tyaIeE

Top 10 Data Disasters from Kroll OnTrack data recovery

2012
  • 10. Rinse cycle
  • 9. Don't drink and work!
  • 8. Lost in the desert
  • 7. Erase all traces
  • 6. Slippery hands
  • 5. Lost in transit
  • 4. Disgruntled employee
  • 3. Careful driver
  • 2. Sweeping illness
  • 1. Don't ignore blinking RED lights

2011

2010

2009

2008 - can't find...

2007

2006

2005

Losing Portable Devices

Rising Trend in Lost USB Flash Drives

All USB, 2 March 2011 - http://tinyurl.com/bqr78r3

At more than 500 laundromats and dry cleaners in the UK, 17,000 USB flash drives were left behind between December 2010 and January 2011. According to the study’s researchers at Credant Technologies, that’s a 400 percent increase in lost devices compared to the year before.

The Lost Laptop Problem

  • 2010 Ponemon Institute report for Intel re. US laptops
    • On average, 2.3% of laptops assigned to employees are lost each year
    • In education & research that rises to 3.7%, with 10.8% of laptops being lost before the end of their useful life
      • ~3 years i.e. within 1 PhD of allocation!
    • 75% lost outside the workplace
  • Very similar results from 2011 European report!

Intel 2010, The Billion Dollar Lost Laptop Problem - http://tinyurl.com/8c9m4bn

Intel 2011, The Billion Euro Laptop Problem - http://tinyurl.com/9wpbxn9

Reliability

Laptop Reliability

  • 2011 PC World Laptop Reliability Survey from 63,000 readers:
    • 22.6% had signifcant problems during the product's lifetime
    • Of which...
      • 19% had OS problems ~1 in 25 of all laptops
      • 18% had HDD problems ~1 in 25 of all laptops
      • 10% PSU problems ~1 in 50 of all laptops

PC World 2011 - http://tinyurl.com/876qza5

Hard Disk Failures

  • Failure Trends In A Large Disk Drive Population
    • Usenix conference on File and Storage Technologies 2007 (FAST '07)
    • Eduardo Pinheiro & Wolf-Dietrich Weber, Google Inc.
  • Data collected from over 100,000 disk drives at Google
  • As part of repairs procedures:
    • ~13% of disk drives replaced over 3 years
    • ~20% of disk drives replaced over 4 years

Article: http://tinyurl.com/octz6b

More info

Terms of use in the cloud

Google Terms Of Service

1 March 2012 Google Terms of Service : http://tinyurl.com/89dc9fa

When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give
Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store,
reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from
translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your
content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly
perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you
grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting,
and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license
continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a
business listing you have added to Google Maps).

Microsoft Services Agreement

19 October 2012 Microsoft services agreement : http://tinyurl.com/8e4kucy

When you upload your content to the services, you agree that it may
be used, modifed, adapted, saved, reproduced, distributed, and
displayed to the extent necessary to protect you and to provide, protect
and improve Microsoft products and services. For example, we may
occasionally use automated means to isolate information from email,
chats, or photos in order to help detect and protect against spam and
malware, or to improve the services with new features that makes them
easier to use. When processing your content, Microsoft takes steps to
help preserve your privacy.

Archiving Data

BBC Domesday Project

1986 Project to do a modern-day Domesday book (early crowd-sourcing)
  • Used “BBC Master” computers with data on laserdisc
  • Collected 147,819 pages of text and 23,225 photos
  • Media expiring and obsolete technology put the data at risk!
Domesday Reloaded (2011) To allow long-term access to data
  • Don't use obscure formats!
  • Don't use obscure media!
  • Don't rely on technology being available!
  • Do keep original source material!

Google images for BBC Domesday

Sharing Data

Piwowar, Heather A., Roger S. Day, and Douglas B. Fridsma. Sharing detailed research data is associated with increased citation rate.
PLoS One 2.3 (2007): e308.

Link Rot

More To Read

Albers, S. Editorial: Well Documented Articles Achieve More Impact
BuR Business Research Journal, Vol. 2, No.2, May 2009

Anderson, Richard G., et al. The role of data/code archives in the future of economic research.
Journal of Economic Methodology 15.1 (2008): 99-119.

Borgman, Christine L. "The conundrum of sharing research data."
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 63.6 (2012): 1059-1078.

Campbell, Eric G., et al. "Data withholding in academic genetics."
JAMA: the journal of the American Medical Association 287.4 (2002): 473-480.

Evanschitzky, Heiner, et al. Replication research's disturbing trend.
Journal of Business Research 60.4 (2007): 411-415.

Fischer, Beth A., and Michael J. Zigmond. "The essential nature of sharing in science."
Science and engineering ethics 16.4 (2010): 783-799.

Freckleton, R.P., P. Hulme, P. Giller and G. Kerby. 2005. The changing face of applied ecology.
J. Appl. Ecol. 42:1–3.

Gleditsch, N.P., C. Metelits and H. Strand. 2003. Posting your data: Will you be scooped or will you be famous?.
Int. Stud. Perspect. 4:89–97.

Lancaster, Larry, and Alan Rowe. Measuring Real World Data Availability.
Proceedings of the LISA 2001 15th Systems Administration Conference. 2001.

McCullough, Bruce D., Kerry Anne McGeary, and Teresa D. Harrison. Lessons from the JMCB Archive.
Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking 38.4 (2006): 1093-1107.

Piwowar, Heather A., and Wendy W. Chapman. "Public sharing of research datasets: a pilot study of associations."
Journal of informetrics 4.2 (2010): 148-156.

Piwowar, Heather A., et al. "Towards a data sharing culture: recommendations for leadership from academic health centers."
PLoS medicine 5.9 (2008): e183.

Schroeder, Bianca, and Garth A. Gibson. Disk failures in the real world: What does an MTTF of 1,000,000 hours mean to you.
Proceedings of the 5th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST). 2007.

Vandewalle, Patrick, Jelena Kovacevic, and Martin Vetterli. "Reproducible research in signal processing."
Signal Processing Magazine, IEEE 26.3 (2009): 37-47.

Whitlock, Michael C. "Data archiving in ecology and evolution: best practices."
Trends in ecology & evolution 26.2 (2011): 61-65.

Whitlock, Michael C., et al. "Data archiving."
The American Naturalist 175.2 (2010): 145-146.

Wicherts, Jelte M., Marjan Bakker, and Dylan Molenaar. "Willingness to share research data is related to the strength of the evidence and the quality of reporting of statistical results."
PloS one 6.11 (2011): e26828.

NEED FOR AN INTERNATIONAL REPOSITORY FOR ORIGINAL RESEARCH DATA
Thatcher, 70 (1807): 167-168
Science 16 August 1929: Vol. 70 no. 1807 pp. 167-168
DOI: 10.1126/science.70.1807.167

Research Data in the Digital Age
Daniel Kleppner and Phillip A. Sharp
Science 24 July 2009: Vol. 325 no. 5939 p. 368
DOI: 10.1126/science.1178927

Sharing Research Data Urged
COLIN NORMAN
Science 16 August 1985: Vol. 229 no. 4714 p. 632
DOI: 10.1126/science.229.4714.632