When starting a research project it is advisable to investigate what data might already be available and present your findings in your Data Management Plan.
This section will look at three aspects of data access:
- data sharing in a collaborative research project team
- accessing your own data while working remotely
- accessing data shared by others for your own project; and making your data accessible for others
Share data with the Research Project team
When undertaking a collaborative project you may find that a number of individuals need access to your data under a range of different access permissions.
Ways you can share your data will depend on a number of factors, including how the data is classified under the University’s Information Governance Framework particularly the classification of data policy.
If you are not sure about the classification of the data you are generating or working with, consider working through the Information Smart e-learning module available to all staff and students.
Group storage and shared drives are available for teams working within the University. Folders provided for group research projects can be set up with a range of permissions.
If you need to share data with colleagues outside Warwick you need to talk to IT Services to find a solution that meets your needs.
Secure information transfer
There are a number of methods available for you to use - the choice of the transfer method would depend on the information classification and circumstance.
For colleagues thinking of using a cloud service, the University has guidance on the selection and use of cloud services for transferring and storing data.
Access your own data remotely
Accessing your data on campus is very easy, all networked PCs are set up to give access to your personal filestore (H:Drive), departmental filestore and any additional file space you have been allocated.
Accessing the same range of folders and files off campus can be managed in a range of ways depending on how long you will be working in a particular location.
Access research data and how to make your data accessible for others
Many funders now expect data that underpin published findings or have potential value in future research to be made publicly available with as few restrictions as possible. The University's Research Data Management policy also sets out requirements for data publication and retention. Data repositories offer the most effective solution for making your data accessible as well as discovering relevant datasets for your own research.
These specialist repositories have subject expertise and the resources to manage specific types of data. You can search for a repository by subject using the Registry of Research Data Repositories.
Your funder may also support or recommend a particular repository, for example:
- The ESRC funds the UK Data Service
- The NERC hosts a network of environmental data centres
- Wellcome maintains a list of approved data repositories
Sensitive or confidential data
Appropriate safeguards need to be in place before sensitive or confidential data can be shared. Some repositories provide a facility to control access to data. Here is a list of repositories that provide restricted access options. You can also search using the “restricted access” filter.
Some data centres apply physical access conditions to their datasets. The University of Warwick is establishing a SafePod service, enabling local researchers to access many such datasets in the University of Warwick library.
Where can I get further help?
Contact researchdata at warwick dot ac dot uk if you need further help and advice.