ICT and library support for Research
Planning your project
It is essential that local ICT departments are engaged prior to the submission of a project bid so that we can properly help you identify your technology requirements, their local availability and any potential costs associated with them: this can cover almost any technological requirement, including storage, software, informatics, high performance capability, software or website development and other specialist research services. This can help with your submission, as it will show a clear understanding of the project’s support requirements, the data that will be generated by it, and how you propose to properly secure and store it, the latter is often required as part of any submission through a Data Management Plan.
Research data storage
Researchers should make sure they understand the requirements of the university partnership’s research data management policy, and how that relates to the storage and management of research data in the short and long term. All research data should be stored and accessed only on approved systems agreed in advance with your local ICT or data management team.
Institutional storage service
In the first instance researchers should contact their local ICT or data management team to discuss their technical and data storage needs. If in doubt, please contact the UHI Servicedesk who will direct you to the right person.
All researchers have access to 1TB of personal OneDrive space. Although designed more for personal use, researchers can still share data with collaborators, if required, on demand.
If a more collaborative approach is required, such as where there are several researchers working on a project who require to regularly access the data, SharePoint may be a better option. SharePoint is an online platform for storing and sharing documents and data. Researchers can be given a SharePoint site, which can be used to store any research data relevant to their work at the university. When research work is conducted as part of a research project any research activity relevant to the project is held and stored in the relevant project SharePoint area. Each research area and project should have a person appointed to administer the SharePoint spaces relevant to their area. If you are unsure who they are please contact the University Archivist and Records Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local ICT or data management team.
To request a SharePoint area, please complete the SharePoint request form on the Records and Archive UniDesk tile, and mark FAO University Archivist and Records Manager.
Microsoft Teams can provide a more integrated and collaborative approach to managing a project. As well as including SharePoint storage for files and data, it also has communication tools (chat, video, audio), as well as a host of other useful management tools, such as Task Planners and Wikis. Teams can include owners, members, and guests (e.g., external collaborators). To discuss if a Microsoft Team site is more appropriate for your purposes please talk to your local ICT team, in the first instance.
Specific server storage
SharePoint may not be the best option for large datasets due to storage limitations, upload\download times and the lack of specialist searching tools. In such cases, institutionally hosted Data servers that are professionally managed and backed up, can be created to meet the needs of your project: such services can also be configured to allow specific searching if data, such as on geographic extant, time, specific parameters, or keywords. Any requirements for a specialist server (e.g., Linux) for processing, storing, or delivering data (e.g., webservices like GeoServer, THREDDS or ERDDAP) or a requirement for expertise in designing, managing, and visualising data should all be discussed with your local ICT or data management team and the outcomes built into your data management plan. It is essential that engagement with ICT happens prior to any research bid so that costings can be included.
Long term research data and output archiving: Arkivum
The University Archive provides safeguarding and digital preservation for all university records: corporate, administrative and research. Researchers should ensure all outputs are captured in PURE and forward a copy to the University Archive for safeguarding and digital preservation. Datasets and research project documentation may also be deposited with the University Archive.
To deposit with the University Archive, please complete the archiving request form on UniDesk at Records and Archive.
For more information, please contact the University Archivist and Records Manager at email@example.com
ICT equipment purchasing
Desktops, Laptops or specialist workstations\servers (e.g. for HPC, Informatics, Data delivery) together with any other ancillary equipment can be procured for you providing funding is in place for this. Local ICT can also help with support for the devices they have procured on your behalf. We will normally install a standard Windows 10 build on desktops and laptops that will allow access to all university systems and ensure a secure operating system that is easily supported: workstations and servers, though, may require different operating systems, such as Linux and this requirement must be discussed at the proposals stage to ensure we can support it. Additional software can be installed as detailed below.
Software purchasing and deployment
It is essential that any software needed is also identified within the bid for the research project. There is a wide range of software already available for research purposes. However, there may be additional requirements for the purchase of a license for commercial purposes. Several different products can have similar features and it may be that we already own a product that would meet the requirements at no additional cost.
Freeware or open-source licenses can be used but will require engagement with the local ICT team to ensure we can support it. There may also be security or GDPR implications for its use; and installation of software is not generally allowed by individuals unless prior consent has been given.
Bespoke services and advice
It is important that you capture all your technical requirements and potential costs upfront for equipment, software, data management and specialist services such as data management, web sites and modelling to include in your research proposal. Some of these services maybe available from within the university partnership on a bespoke basis.
Please use the Research ICT Support Advice form on Unidesk to initiate a conversation.
If you have come to the university from a traditional campus-based institution, our libraries may seem very different. Rather than one large library on six or seven floors of a central building, our study spaces and print book collections are spread throughout the region, from Shetland to Perth, Campbeltown to Elgin. Please visit the library for research libguide for more information on how the library supports research including:
- Finding resources (electronic and print)
- Open Access support
- Research data management