What would happen if you lost all of your research data? The loss of scientific data can have a devastating impact on careers. Imagine if you lost all of the research data you’d been diligently collecting for four years. Now imagine the knock-on effect; you wouldn’t get the PhD you’d been working towards and your future career would be impacted. This nightmare situation actually happened to Billy Hinchen. Hear his story.
After his laptop and all backup hard drives were stolen biologist Billy Hinchen was left with nothing more than a disparate collection of data, email attachments and scribbled drawings. The consequences were disastrous:
“All of my work was digital-based so I lost 400GB of data and close to four years of work. As a direct result I ended up getting an MPhil rather than the PhD I’d been working towards. I was hoping to have an illustrious career in science and for a time it seemed like everything would be stopped in its tracks.
If at the time I’d had Projects I could have added meta data within the files which would have allowed me to quickly access my data as opposed to having to trawl through numerous folders on my computer and lab notes. Also if I’d had an online repository like figshare where I could take key data and findings along the way and upload them to figshare to be stored safely and in a referenceable way, it would have made a huge difference.”
Have you had or know someone who’s had a data drama similar to Billy’s? Do share your stories with us via #datadramas.