This may seem like a fairly obvious thing to do for a PhD student but this past week has really brought home the necessity of making sure that you regularly back-up your research.
On Sunday my home was broken into and both mine and my Uncle’s laptops were stolen. In addition my camera, an important element of my research set-up was also taken. It was an opportunistic robbery with them taking what they could easily carry and sell, for what reason I am sure we can all guess.
What this incident has made me realise is that I need to religiously back-up my more often and store it in as many different places as possible. Thankfully, they did not take my external hard drive so the majority of my research is safe, however, I have lost one days work from The National Archives at Kew. In some respect the IWM‘s policy of not letting you take pictures of documents has been a god send as all my notes were typed onto my Netbook and I had not yet transferred them to my main computer. This means most of it is ok. I lost a couple of bits that I had started work on but they were not in an advanced stage.
I am now investigating some form of online storage such as Windows Skydrive or Dropbox. Why this type? Simple They could have taken my external hard drive as it was sitting right there on the table. Also what happens if it break. Think of all the research that you could lose!
Moral of the story, back-up and then back-up again!