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Storing your research data


​The University’s Research Data Management Policy defines the expectations for data management and the responsibility on researchers to ensure that their data is stored, retained, made accessible and disposed of securely.

This web page summarizes the recommended options for secure data storage throughout the lifetime of research projects and after completion.

Please be aware: Failure to securely store personal data collected through research could put the University and the data subjects at risk.  This could include enforcement action or fines from the Information Commissioners Office, compensation or damage to reputation resulting from financial loss, identity theft, discrimination experienced by data subjects.

In addition there may be obligations from funders or sponsors that data is processed (collected, used, stored and disposed of ) in a secure manner and in compliance with Data Protection legislation – specifically the Data Protection Act 2018.


 Storing data during the research project


OneDrive cloud with various devices, mobile and desktop computers connecting to it.

OneDrive for Business

All staff and students have access to 1 TB of secure cloud-based file storage via One Drive for Business, which comes as part of their university Office 365 accounts.

OneDrive for Business has a number of features, including data encryption, which make it a secure place to store your data. The data in your OneDrive account is:

  • stored within the European Union and so conforms to the GDPR.
  • owned by the University of Brighton and not by Microsoft. In Data Protection terms; the university is the ‘data controller’ and Microsoft is the ‘data processor’


Your OneDrive for Business storage is primarily for you to store data that only you need to access. However, it does enable you to share data securely and collaborate with specific staff and students as well as external partners.  If you are working on a group project with other academics and need to regularly share data with the same people, you should consider a SharePoint Online site – see below.

For guidance on security using OneDrive for Business, see the document “OneDrive for Staff: your responsibilities and recommendations for use”.

When you leave: You will lose access to your OneDrive account the day you finish at the university and the data will be deleted 30 days after that date. You should make arrangements to copy any data that you, or others, will need access to.

OneDrive personal accounts: OneDrive storage provided through free personal Office 365 accounts is not the same as OneDrive for Business and does not have the same security. These accounts should not be used to store university data.

For more information on your Office 365 account and OneDrive see Office 365 for staff


SharePoint Online sites sharepoint-online.png

SharePoint Online sites are suitable for projects involving more than one academic. They offer the same security and tools as OneDrive for Business but include shared document libraries and tools for collaborating and communicating within the group, such as announcements and discussion boards.

Contact the  IT Service Desk if you would like to have a SharePoint Online site created for your project team.


Research Central File Store

For research projects with very large data sets, or data that does not fit well into other services such as SharePoint and OneDrive, there is a Research Central File Store Service. Data is stored in the Watts Data Centre with high levels of service and data security. The RCFS is a Common Internet File System (CIFS) accessible by Windows, MAC and Linux from within the university network.


Access to this service is provided to user groups who then have full control of their share and access to its contents. Suitability for High Risk data should be assessed for each use case. However, user groups are able to tightly restrict access to high risk data and ensure it is encrypted and that old data is properly deleted.
This service is chargeable with a one-off cost which includes backup for five years:
  • £772  per Terabyte of storage allocated

The  one-off set-up cost  includes VAT and covers software licenses as well physical resources.

To ask about using the Research Central File Store, contact the IT Service Desk   and a member of IT Services will contact you to discuss your requirements.

Note that you can only access the RCFS if you are on campus.


 Storage after completion


​Research outputs are published on the University’s Research Information System, Pure.

In addition to published papers, the final data sets of projects must be curated and made publicly available wherever possible. (See EPSRC policy and University of Brighton policy on Research Data Management for more information). After being cleaned and anonymised to ensure compliance with the University’s Data Protection Policy, final data sets should be deposited in Brighton Research Data repository.


 Useful links

Page owner: Jill Shacklock