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Research Data Storage Service

Overview

The Research Data Storage service is a centrally-provided service for UCL researchers needing somewhere to store and share their research data during the active phase of a research project. It consists of a large capacity networked facility suitable for all shapes and sizes of data, including very large files.

Rather than providing personal data storage, the service follows a project-based approach. Researchers can create projects, define the membership of that project and how long they will last, then upload and download files to and from the designated project space. Files are accessible only to named project members.

The Research Data Storage Service forms one component part of a planned larger infrastructure, which will include a repository for research data that needs to be retained post-project, and various tools and services to make it easier to capture metadata and documentation and to enable others to find and re-use publicly accessible datasets.

Access

Files are stored and accessed on a copy-in / copy-out basis. Whilst this may be fine for your purposes, it is also possible to view files as though they were on a mounted drive on your computer via a third-party interface. Our storage access guide provides further help and suggestions:

Registration

Any member of staff with UCL credentials is able to register as a PI
and receive a storage allocation via our registration page. Please note that you
need to be within the UCL network or connected via VPN in order to access the
registration page.

We do encourage the actual PI of a project to complete the registration process, as this will enable us to automatically associate projects on the RDS system with grant information, and may prevent problems further down the line when it comes to determining who is ultimately responsible for data. That said, we also encourage ‘non-funded’ projects to use the service rather than rely on local storage. More information is available from the registration page:

The registration only takes a few minutes to complete and there are guidelines and information to help with the application. Your project allocation can be set up quite rapidly but it may take up to 48 hours for the authentication process to conclude.

We ask new users to estimate their data storage requirements for their projects, but these may be changed later if required. If you need more that 5TB then we ask you to contact us directly so that we can understand your needs and scale our service appropriately.

Whilst the service remains in its early-life phase it will be free of charge, although if you have exceptional requirements (greater than 10 TB) and the budget to pay for storage, we would like to discuss whether you could make a contribution.

The service will in future adopt a more formal pricing model, but there will be no retrospective charges.

At present, external collaborators will need to become honorary members of UCL before they can access projects, although we are working on a solution to this.