Storage Options

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There are a few options researchers can take advantage of when storing their research data.

Data Classification

Please review the different data classifications that are outlined by the Information Security Classification Standard Policy. There are 4 levels of data classification which are summarized in the table below.

Level Description Example
Level 1 Public
  • Reference data sets
  • Published research data
Level 2 Internal
  • Internal memos
  • Unpublished research data
  • Anonymized or de-identified human subject data
  • Library transactions and journals
Level 3 Confidential
  • Faculty/staff employment applications, personnel files, contact information
  • Donor or prospective donor information
  • Contracts
  • Intellectual property
Level 4 Restricted
  • Patient identifiable health information
  • identifiable human subject research data
  • information subject to special government requirements

When selecting a storage option, you must use one that meets or exceeds the rated security classification.

Research Data Management

We recommend you follow good Research Data Management practices and ensure you have a DMP (Data Management Plan) created to guide your data's lifecycle. DMP Assistant has been created specifically for Canadian scholars and aims to meet any and all Tri-Agency requirements. See:

Your DMP can help us support the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) principles for data management.

Please consider contacting Libraries and Cultural Resources for assistance. For guidance on general data management and developing a DMP, consult or contact

For support using PRISM Dataverse, UofC's institutional data repository, contact

If you need to share and preserve your large post-publication data set for a mandated period of time, please visit in order to learn more about the national Federated Research Data Repository.

FRDR aligns with Tri-Agency Principles as a platform for Preservation, Retention and Sharing of research data. see: Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management

Secure Compute Data Storage (SCDS)

Secure Computing Data Storage (SCDS) is a service provided by Research Computing Services that allows researchers to store restricted and confidential data. Collaboration with Level 4 data stored in SCDS is possible using ShareFile, a secure file sharing and collaboration tool by Citrix.

Capacity 10 GB or more
Classification Level 4
Learn More Visit The SCDS Website
Request Access Visit ServiceNow to request access


AcademicFS is a UofC hosted SMB/CIFS storage solution funded and operated by RCS. It is available by request to faculty and staff with active research data.

Capacity 100GB with quota increases available on request.
Classification Level 1 - 2
Request Access Visit ServiceNow to request access

Service Description

You may use AcademicFS to store your active research data files. AcademicFS is intended to be used as a research group or project share. AcademicFS is available on campus or off campus using the IT supported VPN client. Information on how to download and install the VPN client can be found here: (IT account login may be required). All AcademicFS users must have a UofC IT account.

Data recovery

AcademicFS does daily snapshots at a bit past midnight, which it keeps for 30 days. You should be able to recover a deleted file for up to 30 days, if it was in your share overnight. If you create a file and delete it during a day, no snapshot will be available for you to recover. AcademicFS presents backups using the windows OS 'previous versions' functionality. If you are not familiar with using this, or if you are on a Linux or MacOS device, you can request a restore, with Service Now.

For backup, we replicate changes to a distant data center every hour. The storage hardware which hosts your data is located in the basement of the Math Sciences building and our backup is ~22KM distant, so in case of an on campus disaster, your data should be safe.

Support for AcademicFS

If you have questions, please contact the IT Support Centre.

Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm; Sat, Sun & holidays: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Live Chat:
Phone: 403.220.5555
In person: 773 Math Science

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business is a storage solution provided by Microsoft and is available by request to all faculty and staff.

Capacity 5 TB
Classification Level 1 - 4
Request Access Visit ServiceNow to request access

You may use OneDrive for Business to store your personal and work related files. Files stored within OneDrive are by default private only to you but has the option to allow sharing and collaboration with others. OneDrive for Business cannot be used as a department or project share space. There is no group/lab offering with OneDrive.

While OneDrive provides a secure/compliant location from an IT Security stand point, it’s not the most adequate location for data the PI is accountable for 5 years upon completion of the study. This is not a security issue, but a data management issue. OneDrive could be great for short term needs, but SCDS (see above) is the best option to store all research related electronic records for the long run. For example, if a study was using a personal OneDrive of one of the researchers to store all the records, and the researcher was to leave the university, this OneDrive would be gone in 30 days. That would never happen with SCDS where we are able to track discrete containers which remain associated to the PI and the REB project as one entity.

MS has an automation capability for their O365 products. If you have a windows OS machine, you can use the automation product ‘Flow’ to copy a file to a local file system when a new file is created on OneDrive.

OneDrive requires Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) enabled on your University of Calgary IT account.

UofC OneDrive data is reportedly hosted in Canada (Markham Ont).

Request Access

To request for OneDrive for Business:

  1. Submit your request on ServiceNow using the OneDrive for Business request form (
  2. The IT Support Centre will contact you
  3. Set a time with IT Support Centre to turn on MFA
  4. Turn on MFA
  5. Turn on OneDrive for Business

Support for OneDrive for Business

If you have questions, please contact the IT Support Centre.

Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm; Sat, Sun & holidays: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Live Chat:
Phone: 403.220.5555
In person: 773 Math Science

Data recovery

Other Resources

For more information on OneDrive for Business:

Any questions regarding if data hosted on OneDrive is subject to US jurisdiction discovery or access should be directed to:

Office365 SharePoint for research groups

To be determined....

Researchers will be able to request an Office 365 SharePoint site for a group at some point in the future which could be considered a group cloud sharing platform.

Personal storage options

For personal or level 1 data, you may use external solutions from WestGrid or Compute Canada.

  • WestGrid ownCloud:
Youtube video introduction:
Access portal:
  • Compute Canada NextCloud: