Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible to use this service?

This service is available to Griffith researchers (staff and HDR students) and general staff members that are associated with research projects.

Griffith researchers are able to easily invite their external research collaborators to share folders and files.

Details of how to get an account are located in the user manual.

What types of content can I store here?

You can use this service to store primary data and associated documentation from research projects being conducted at Griffith University.

The university is offering this service specifically to help researchers fulfil the requirements of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 and Griffith's Best Practice Guidelines for Researchers.

This service should not be used to store the following:

  • Information associated with administrative activities or with learning and teaching. Solutions such as G and H drives and Microsoft OneDrive for Business are available for these purposes.
  • Information that you do not have permission to share because of copyright (e.g. articles downloaded from subscription library databases) or ethical or contractual restrictions.

Is this service suitable for sensitive data?

If your data is sensitive in any way, you must carefully assess any service you use to store and share it. At a minimum, you should:

A lot of research data does not require security controls above and beyond the University's standard practices. This service:

  • stores information on local servers (not overseas, which could be in breach of the Privacy Act),
  • is subject to policies that outline the responsibility of staff who maintain these systems,
  • encrypts information when it is being transferred and "at rest" on storage devices,
  • is monitored for malicious attacks and security breaches, and
  • has complete audit logs of user activity.

You can also adopt good security practices as an individual and within your research team, such as:

  • Writing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). An SOP is a document that provides a clear set of steps and processes for your research team to follow for handling data within the research project). It is especially useful for new members to the team and to provide to new prospective data suppliers for them to have confidence that their data will be managed to their satisfaction"). Contact eResearch Services for assistance with what should be contained in an SOP.
  • Choosing a good password for your account and not sharing it.
  • Ensuring that only authorised team members have access to data, by setting appropriate permissions.
  • Keeping computers and mobile devices secure (e.g. making sure operating systems and apps are up to date, and having a password or pin number on your device).
  • Keeping copies of very important files in multiple locations.

Your research data might warrant special security controls if its unauthorised release could:

  • Cause distress to individuals or private entities,
  • breach undertakings to maintain confidentiality, or
  • negatively impact on the reputation of the University.

If you are unsure about whether your data requires extra security controls, please seek advice from the research ethics and integrity service in the Office for Research or eResearch Services.

What if I have more complex storage needs?

This service provides basic storage for folders and files.

The Office of Digital Solutions also has a range of more specialised solutions for researchers whose data:

  • Is very large in volume (i.e. over 20 TB)
  • Is automatically captured using scientific instruments or managed using complex applications (e.g. databases)
  • Needs to be available for high performance computing
  • Is nationally or internationally significant.

Contact us if you would like to discuss more specialised storage options.

Is there a quota on my account?

You will initially receive a personal home drive on the service, with a quota of 5GB storage space. However, as a Griffith researcher, you can request multiple folders for your projects, and these shared folders provide you storage outside this quota (subject to availability).

This structure is in place to encourage the organisation of content on a project basis and to ensure that the service is being used to support research at Griffith.

What is the maximum size file I can upload?

The maximum size of a single file is restricted when uploading via the web interface. The sync clients have a much higher limit, files as large as 60GB have been tested. If you are uploading files larger than several GB in size it could be worth contacting us to discuss other options that are available to you.

Are there any costs associated with this service?

There is no cost associated with the use of this service for research purposes.

How safe is my data?

Data is transferred via SSL/TLS encryption.

Data is encrypted "at rest", so that gaining physical access to the storage is insufficient to access the data.

ODS monitors its storage systems on a 24x7 basis.

Your data is stored in secure Griffith University data centres and managed by staff from Office of Digital Solutions.

Data is stored in a geographically distributed file system, with information being duplicated across two sites. You should be aware that while data is stored in multiple data centres, this is done by a process called replication. This means that a copy is made of your data in real time or near real time. This ensures your data is up-to-date in both sites. However, this mirroring process means that if you or one of your collaborators deletes a file, this delete action will be carried over to all copies stored on the servers. Replication systems are different from backup systems where a "point in time" snapshot can be restored.

To reduce the risks around accidental deletion by users, deleted files stay in the trash bin for 30 days. After that time, you will not be able to restore the deleted files.

When using this sytem, you should always keep your own backup of any important files in another system. You can also ensure that when setting access and editing rights on your folders and files that you remove the ability of others to edit and delete critical content.

What versions of the ownCloud sync client are supported?

Research Space only supports versions of the sync client 2.5.4 or earlier. Versions from 2.6 onward will not work.

Desktop and mobile apps are available that enable you to synchronise the contents of local directories on desktop machines and mobile devices to the Research Storage Service.

How does syncing work?

Desktop and mobile apps are available that enable you to synchronise the contents of local directories on desktop machines and mobile devices to the Research Storage Service.

These apps are developed by a third party and are not developed or supported by Griffith University. If you choose to use these apps, you do so at your own risk and you must be aware of how the synchronisation works.

These tools offer bidirectional file synchronising. This means that the files in different places (i.e. on the Griffith Uni systems and on your desktop machine or mobile device) remain the same:

  • If you add a file in one place it is copied to the other place.
  • If a file is changed in one place, the change is propagated to the other site/s.
  • Most importantly, if a file is deleted in one place, it is deleted in all places. This is a major difference to backup systems where a "point in time" snapshot can be restored.

The system offers some ability for you to restore files that you have deleted within a certain time period (30 days), however you and your collaborators should be very careful when using the synchronisation apps to ensure that data is also backed up somewhere else and that extreme care is taken when deleting folders and files.

How long can I leave my data here?

This service is designed to support active research projects in which data is being generated and changed frequently. Once a project is complete, you should consider moving your working data to Griffith's Archive Storage and depositing final state data into a subject or institutional repository.

Contact us if you would like to discuss moving your data at the end of a research project.

What happens if I leave Griffith?

You should ensure that another active Griffith account holder has the ability to control access to your data before you leave Griffith.

Data without a Griffith owner may be archived by ODS after a set time period, in consultation with the Head of School/Centre Director of the responsible group.

Who can I contact to provide feedback or ask for assistance?

The Office of Digital Solutions welcomes your comments and suggestions. You can provide feedback, or ask for assistance, using the contact us form. Please take the time to select the relevant category and be as descriptive as you can be, doing both of these helps us greatly when responding to your query.