Research Data Archive (RDA)



Archiving Data Sets Associated with Published Papers

At the University of Birmingham, published papers are recorded in the PURE Publication and Research database.  Papers logged in this system are locatable using the Research at Birmingham service (

IT Services has developed a complimentary Research Data Archive (RDA), designed exclusively for the long term retention of data sets associated with publications logged in the PURE system with an assumption of a default 10 year requirement.

The policy governing the RDA was approved by Research Committee in February 2015 and can be found here. Further useful guidance and information can be found in the supporting documentation 

The Technical Solution and Resilience

The solution has been created to be highly resilient and is duplicated between two data centres, if there is a major issue at one data centre we are able to work from the other taking into account the foreseeable failures modes.

How to Apply for RDA

Applications for space in the RDA should be made by the project’s, principal investigator (PI), using the Service Desk ( ). After you have logged to Service-now, select ‘Make a Request’ (left hand menu) then select: 'Reseach Data Services' from the 'Research Computing Service' menu; then select RDA. in the Service Catalogue.

The PI will need to complete the Application Form, detailing the amount of storage required, giving a brief description of what the project is about, supplying funding information, and explaining why the data should be archived and for how long. 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 RDA meets the requirements of the project’s Data Management Plan.

Provision of RDA Storage

Once approved, up to 1TB of storage will be allocated; for larger projects, additional capacity may be purchased. 

Once the storage has been allocated the PI will be asked to give a list of users who are to be granted access to the storage and the level of access for each. Management of the data will be restricted to this security group but note that once finalised, data in the RDA becomes immutable.  (see the policy documentation for further information).

The PI will be given a network share in the form of \\its-rds\2016\username-01, which can be mapped from their computer, this will be in a form of a CIFS share, which can be presented to Linux, MAC or Windows operating systems.

RDA Costs and Funding

Central University funding provides a default allocation for the archive requirements of projects i.e. for storage capacity to retain and make available the data associated with published research. The default provides for the first 1 TB of data though extra capacity is available for exceptional requirements. In this case, a charge will be made so funding for additional space should be directly included in the research bid. Click here for a guide to archive storage costs and suggested wording to include in bids

Last Modified: 9 November 2016