Research Data Storage and Costs

Where can I deposit my research data?

What data can I store in Enlighten: Research Data?

What about data I create and use during my project?

What if my research group or school want to contract out storage directly?

How much data can I store in Enlighten: Research Data?

How do I or others access the data?

How long is my data stored for?

How much does storing my data cost?

Can I include this cost in my grant funding application?

Useful Contacts

Where can I deposit my research data?

The University requires that researchers deposit their research data safely in a repository, where they can be cited using a persistent identifier (such as a DOI) and will remain accessible for a minimum of ten years.  

Researchers have options when deciding on a suitable respository. There are many subject based and / or funder supported repositories such as the UK Data Archive or the NERC Open Research Archive.  If no suitable external repository exists for your data, the University’s own Enlighten: Research Data is also an option.  This list of external Research Data Repositories can help you locate a suitable home for your research data, but if in doubt please contact the Research Data Management (RDM) team for advice.

Please note also – if an external repository is used please still inform the RDM team where the datasets are stored.  This will enable the linking of information about your data to your staff profile, and also make sure that your data is included in future reporting exercises. 

The storage provided in Enlighten: Research Data is contracted out to a UK based digital archiving company called Arkivum.  The contractor is ISO 27001 certified and provides guaranteed data integrity and security for 25 years.  The Arkivum service can safely store all types of data including sensitive material such as clinical trials.

When data are deposited with the University’s repository they are encrypted and stored off-site in the contractor’s data centres and a further copy is held on tape in escrow. 

Once research data are moved to Enlighten: Research Data (or to a similarly robust external Repository) they should be deleted from on-site storage.  This will help the University manage its on-site storage more efficiently.  You can arrange this by raising a call to the Desktop Solutions Team.

A checklist of information needed to deposit data in Enlighten:Research Data is available: Checklist for data upload.

 

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What data can I store in Enlighten: Research Data?

The decision as to what data are deposited is entirely at the researcher’s discretion and can vary according to discipline and / or funder.  At a minimum a useful dataset is likely to include data that will help someone to understand, validate or replicate the research findings in a publication. 

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What about data I create and use during my project?

It is often the case that researchers produce more data than will be deposited finally in a repository.   This could include raw data from which only a small percentage are used in published outputs.  While this data will not require long term archiving, they will require planning, managing and storing throughout the lifecycle of a project.  There are various networked and backed-up storage options available to University researchers for managing ‘live data’.

Recommended:

  1. For Standard Staff Desktop (SSD) users or users who have access to their SSD ‘H’ drive from other systems; if the data are sufficiently small in volume and you are not sharing with other staff, use your home ‘H’ drive. You may also submit a request via the IT Helpdesk for additional personal storage, which will be accommodated if central storage has capacity to do so.
  2. If you require to share data with other University of Glasgow researchers, please submit a request via the IT Helpdesk for a new shared drive, quoting specific users who can access SSD and SSD shared drives from other systems.
  3. Use the central OwnCloud service, which is supported by IT Services. This is a private cloud service, which provides flexible and secure access to filestore, with additional benefits relating to sync and share facilities most notably with external collaborators via Shibboleth federation services.

Acceptable:

  1. Some Schools may have their own networked storage set-up.  If researchers choose to use this they should check that it meets minimum requirements for data security, and also be aware that this is not supported by IT Services.

Not Recommended:

  1. It is not recommended that consumer oriented cloud services such as DropBox, iCloud or Google Drive are used for storing live research data. These services have inherent risk, such as:
    • There is often no guaranteed retention or back-up of data.
    • The servers they use could be based outside the UK/EU which can have implications for data protection and may breach funder requirements.
    • A lack of clarity on ownership and rights over the data. 
  2. Use of OneDrive, provided by the University as part of Microsoft Office 365, is also not recommended if the research funder has stipulated that data must be stored physically within the University.

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What if my research group or school want to contract out storage directly?

It may be that your data needs are sufficiently unique that you want to make your own arrangements for storage in an external service like Arkivum. If this is the case we recommend you speak to us first, and then we will liaise with you and IT Services.

How much data can I store in Enlighten: Research Data?

There is a process for scoping data storage requirements.  At the funding application stage the applicant should complete a Data Management Plan.  In this plan a best efforts estimate of data volumes should be provided.  If expected data volumes are large then the RDM team will be able to advise on the best approach and liaise with the relevant IT and data Storage suppliers on behalf of the applicant.

If you have a grant already underway and haven't yet been in touch to discuss your data requirements then please contact us for advice.

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How do I or others access the data?

Various access options can be supported, ranging from a simple click to download, to restricted access and embargo periods.  Deciding which access to grant users will depend on licensing, ethical or other constraints and the size of the dataset.

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How long is my data stored for?

The contractor ensures that data will be secure and guaranteed for 25 years.  In line with many funder requirements the University advises that data should be accessible for a minumum of 10 years after the end of a grant.  The current Engineering and Physical Science Research Council’s requirement for data storage is 10 years from the last point at which the data was accessed.

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How much does storing my data cost?

The cost of storing data in Enlighten: Research Data is £1800 per-terabyte (excluding VAT).  This is a one-off charge and guarantees secure data storage for ten years.  This cost is likely to fall over time so we recommend that you check for the updated current cost periodically in this document. 

Storage Costs
Storage (GB) Cost (£)
0–5 Free
5–125 225
125–250 450
250–500 900
500–750 1350
750–1000 1800

It should also be straightforward to scale costs for datasets larger than one terabyte based on these figures.  However if in any doubt, please contact the RDM team for advice, and, as mentioned above, please check this document regularly for cost updates.

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Can I include this cost in my grant funding application?

Funders who do not provide their own data centres (such as ESRC and NERC) will usually permit data storage costs to be included in grant applications. Costs relating to RDM are subject to the normal rules of grant funding, for example costs must be fully justified; be spent before the end date of the project and may only be charged for data produced by the project.

Also, most funders, including those who provide their own data centres, will often provide funding for other data management activities (perhaps for enhancing documentation, or preparing data for deposit) and related staff time. Check your funder's application guidance or contact us to discuss.

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Useful Contacts

IT Contact:  http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/it/helpdesk/

For all other research data enquiries please contact research-datamanagement@gla.ac.uk

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