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Selecting the right data storage system will help you to work efficiently, safely and securely during your research.
King's provides a number of options to store data during your research. Some of these are provided centrally by King’s IT and e-Research teams, and others locally in faculties, departments or schools.
Considerations when finding the correct data storage system can be the sensitivity of data, the size of datasets and individual files, and whether work is collaborative - either internally or externally. Much research at King’s involves human participants, including health data, which may require extra consideration to store with the appropriate level of security.
To identify which is the best storage option for your research data, we recommend reading the two pages listed below, which describe the centrally provided options and the types of data they are suited for. The IT Assurance page includes a flowchart to determine where your data can be stored and a tool to assess its content based on categories of sensitivity.
The IT Assurance team provide advice and guidance around data storage locations controlled by central IT.
Within this page of guidance for researchers, is a page about data storage, designed to help signpost you to the ideal storage solution for your research data.
IT Assurance Data Storage Page
e-Research is a group located in RMID focused on providing King’s researchers with infrastructure and support for conducting research using software development, computational and data analysis methods. Their pages describe the data resources available now, and those coming soon as part of the CREATE infrastructure.
e-Research Data Storage and Computing page
Key features of SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and RDS
If you have any questions about these options and whether they are suitable for your data, contact the teams at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
You may also have local data storage facilities and expertise in your faculty, department or school. Some local data storage facilities are listed here.
Faculty of Natural, Mathematics & Engineering Sciences (NMES) File Storage
We aim to add to this list. If you would like you to add a local data storage facility to this list, please contact us with the details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wherever possible, you should store research data using facilities provided by the college.
If the use of external devices is unavoidable, be aware of the risks of doing so and follow the guidance by IT Services.
Mobile & Portable Storage and Third-party Storage
For additional support from IT Services, email email@example.com or telephone 020 7848 8888.
The Research Governance Office provides guidance so that the necessary teams are aware, and the correct processes are followed, to ensure that data and equipment are properly dealt with before you leave What To Do About Research When You Leave KCL
Data that contains sensitive or confidential information should be treated with higher levels of security. Keeping your data secure allows you to control access and prevent accidental or malicious loss and damage.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Additional guidance on data security can also be found on the Information Compliance team's webpages and IT Services webpages.
The college has published an Encryption Policy
SharePoint Online is a file-sharing and collaboration service provided by the college. Only employees of the university are eligible to request ownership of a SharePoint site.
All staff, students and affiliates have access to a One Drive for Business account which enables file sharing with other staff and students at King's.
If the transmission by email of files containing personal data is unavoidable, any documents containing personal data or confidential information should be encrypted and passwords or key codes sent separately from the data.
Guidance on email encryption
To comply with the GDPR, personal data can only be transferred to territories outside of the EU if that country is considered to have an adequate level of personal data protection or contractual commitments to provide adequate levels of protection have been agreed with the intended recipient:
... a controller or processor may transfer personal data to a third country or an international organisation only if the controller or processor has provided appropriate safeguards, and on condition that enforceable data subject rights and effective legal remedies for data subjects are available– GDPR, Article 46(1)
If you are transferring personal data from a country or territory outside the United Kingdom or the EU you must ensure that the collection and transfer of the data complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and any equivalent legislation in that country or territory. For digital files use SharePoint Online or One Drive for Business. For paper and other non-digital records we recommend that you try and keep the records with you on the flight (i.e.in hand luggage) if this is possible.
If the postal service must be used as a form of transfer, data should be sent by secure courier or recorded delivery. King's has agreed terms with City Sprint for national and international courier services.
If you are sharing personal or other sensitive data it is a good idea to have a data sharing agreement in place. A data sharing agreement sets out a common set of rules to be adopted by the various parties involved in any data sharing activities.
The Research Grants and Conctracts team can provide assistance with drawing up a data sharing agreement.
Research involving human subjects is subject to legal and ethical obligations, including:
Source: UK Data Service - Ethical Obligations
All research involving human participants undertaken at King's requires ethical approval (see the Research Ethics Office webpages for further information) and processing of personal data must be done in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The Information Commissioner's Office's (ICO) have published a useful Guide to the GDPR describing the principles under which data must be processed.
UKRI have published a useful overview of GDPR and Research for researchers.
Personal data is defined by the GDPR as any data that relates to a living individual, or information which could lead to an individual being identified if combined with other data.
Special category personal data is subject to more stringent rules about how it should be managed and is defined as data containing any information that relates to:
While not explicitly special category data, the following should also be treated in the same manner:
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