August BEAR Newsletter

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Welcome to the BEAR Newsletter, bringing you the latest news from the BEAR team (Birmingham Environment for Academic Research), as well as other relevant computing and data-related news from both within the University of Birmingham and outside.


As we head into the (hopefully) glorious summer, we hope you are having a good earned rest. In this newsletter we have news on our exciting hybrid BEAR PGR Conference with fabulous prizes on offer for the best poster/presenter and we explain how to archive your data at the University. Oh, and we’re looking for someone to look after our Matlab Special Interest Group.

In this newsletter we cover:

  • BEAR PGR Conference 2021
  • Archiving Solutions at UoB
  • BEAR DataShare retirement
  • MATLAB (Special Interest Group) chair vacancy
  • Virtual BEAR drop-in sessions

BEAR PGR Conference 2021

The BEAR PGR Organising Committee would like to invite you to the hybrid (in-person/online) BEAR PGR Conference 2021 on Wednesday 8th September, for which we welcome our two prestigious keynote speakers, Prof Nick Loman and Prof Jack Grieve. We are still accepting abstracts from research students to present either a talk or poster, with prizes available for the best one’s! Registration is also now open to anyone who would like to attend the Conference. Submit your abstract or register to attend via this online form: More information on the Conference can be found here:

Archiving Solutions at UoB

Archiving research data means submitting it to an archive or repository where it will be protected in the long term against loss, deterioration, unauthorised or inappropriate access, and future incompatibility. Archiving is a necessary first step towards data sharing, but it is still important to archive data even if you do not plan to share it with others. The University has several solutions to archive your valuable data once you have finished with it:

  • UBIRA eData repository: The University’s repository for data associated with a published paper, a DOI can be minted for datasets so that it is citable.
  • BEAR Archive: To store valuable data associated with your research project (current or completed), which may be needed in the future but which is not currently being actively used and is not needed to support a publication. Data needs to be archived from a BEAR Research Data Store.

BEAR DataShare retirement 

Just a quick note to ask all our users to start thinking about migrating your data which is in BEAR DataShare. We would just like to confirm that it is only the sync and share solution BEAR DataShare that is being retired in January 2022. All other BEAR Services, including the BEAR Research Data Store are remaining. Further information on the retirement is available in our blog post which has links on how to migrate the data and where to.

Matlab (SIG) Chair wanted

The Matlab Special Interest Group is looking for a very special someone to help and guide the group, this post is voluntary and is a couple of hours per month.  The BEAR team will support all admin for this role and will be our contact with Mathworks.

If you are interested then please email us at and we can send you a proposed job specification.

Virtual BEAR Drop-in Sessions 

We are running our virtual drop-in sessions via Zoom as it allows us to create breakout rooms to discuss particular questions face-to-face. You can use these sessions to find out more about BEAR in general and the advanced research computing facilities we provide or we can answer specific questions e.g. running jobs on BlueBEAR, using the BlueBEAR portal or how to migrate from BEAR DataShare.

Current dates are listed here and below:

  • Monday 16th August 13:30 - 14:30

To join the drop-in sessions, email and we will send you the Zoom link and instructions on joining. Please let us know the topic of your query, so we can find the most suitable BEAR team member to speak to you.

We hope you have a fantastic break.


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