Sunday, August 11, 2019

Backup Workflow for Linguistic Fieldwork

Backup workflow for Linguistic Fieldwork (based on a Facebook post of July 4, 2019) (workflow created by me and Zach).
All work should be backed up in at least two places. So I purchased two 4TB Lacie hard drives for work on Cua. One of the hard drives is faster (and more expensive) than the other to allow us to do video editing directly from the hard drive. Backups should be created every night.

Comment: When I shoot video, I tend to back up every night, since the videos cannot stay on the laptop (because they take up too much space). But when I am just recording sound files, or working ELAN files, I tend to backup after a few days.

Create a session folder in the Lacie 4TB USB-C (master) hard drive with the following format: 2019_07_04 (YYYY_MM_DD). 


Create subfolders within that session folder corresponding to the media format, in our case: Videos, Photos and Sound Files. Sound Files has two subfolders: YYYY_MM_DD (morning) and YYYY_MM_DD (afternoon). 

FLEx files are backed up in Language Depot and on the computers, and so do not have to be backed up on the hard drives.


Transfer any new video and photo files from the camera SD card to the appropriate subfolder on the hard drive as a first backup. 

Note: video and photo files take up lots of space, and so are not typically backed up onto the computer. 

Transfer sound files from elicitation sessions stored on computer to the folder Sound Files.

Note: When I do lexical and syntactic elicitation, the sound files are recorded directly on to the computer, using the Zoom H4n as an audio interface.

Transfer sound files from Zoom H4n to appropriate folder (either Videos or Sound Files, depending on the purpose of the sound file).


Copy the entire session folder from the Lacie 4TB USB-C (master) to the other Lacie 4TB USB-3 (mirror) hard drive. This will create a mirror of the archive on both hard drives.


Use the USB-C hard drive as a master copy for any editing and for creation of ELAN .eaf files.


After editing on the USB-C master hard drive, copy the session folder to the USB-3 mirror hard drive and replace the existing session folder on the mirror hard drive.

Alternatively (to step 9), copy the edited files from session folder on USB-C master hard drive to corresponding session folder on USB-3 mirror hard drive. 

Enter information about backups into the meta-data spreadsheet (every day). This information will include date of creation, location of creation, person speaking, summary of contents. 

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