BEAR Archive

(formerly known as the Research Data Archive or RDA)


Archiving data associated with Research Projects

Note that BEAR Archive is not a service for the storage of data associated with publications for the purposes of satisfying open data requirements. Instead, you should use UBIRA, the University of Birmingham Institutional Research Archive - eData.

The purpose of the BEAR Archive is 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 stored in the BEAR Archive will be archived to tape for a reasonable length of time (with the minimum period agreed at the point of archiving with the PI) and will only be accessible upon an application for restoration by an appropriate person.

 The Technical Solution and Resilience

The solution uses an enterprise class ‘data protection platform’ (software) and tape storage media. It has been created to be highly resilient with data duplicated between two data centres to minimize the risk of data loss. Tapes are periodically and automatically cycled and re-written to maintain the integrity of the data. The use of tape provides a low-cost storage media for long term retention of data.

How to Apply for the Archive

Applications for storage in the BEAR Archive should be made by the project’s Principal Investigator (PI), using the IT Service Desk ( After you have logged into the IT Service Desk:

  1. select ‘Make a Request’ (shopping basket symbol)
  2. select: ‘Other BEAR Request' from the 'Advanced Research Computing Service' menu
  3. Under ‘Subject’ add Archive
  4. Under ‘Request Details’, please describe which folder needs to be archived from your Research Data Store (see further information below)

The PI will need to complete the Application Form, giving a brief description explaining why the data should be archived and the minimum retention period. Applicants must also specify any special requirements or conditions; this being particularly relevant if the data to be archived contains sensitive, personal or commercial content or if particular confidentiality or security restrictions apply. Finally, each applicant will be asked to confirm the BEAR Archive meets the requirements of the project’s Data Management Plan. Note that as an archive solution, the data will be removed from the active storage system and access to the data in future will require a request via the IT Service Desk.

Archive Costs and Funding

The University funds a reasonable allocation for the archive requirements of projects i.e. for storage capacity to retain and make available the data associated with research projects. However, IT Services reserves the right to charge for exceptional requirements i.e. more than 20TBs.  Funding for additional space should be directly included in the research bid. Sample text for an application is as follows:

The University provides a standard archive storage allocation for the retention of data associated with the project, however if this project is likely to generate data in excess of the 20TB allocation there will be a charge. The cost charged by the University is currently £40 per additional TB for up to 10 years storage.

Last Modified: 03 August 2018


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