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The Data Storage Finder Tool

March 2, 2021

Finding the right data storage can, at times, be difficult when dealing with the vast amount of information that the campus has to offer. To combat this, DoIT and Research Data Services have partnered to make it easier than ever to find, compare, and get assistance with centralized campus research data storage services. Members from both teams have worked tirelessly to create the Research Data Storage Finder too, which allows researchers to select criteria regarding their research data and receive suggestions for appropriate storage solutions. The tool also allows users to see the landscape of available services more efficiently, compare and contrast different services, and provide a point of contact if users have further questions. 

“Research Data Services has been providing helpful guidance on data management to researchers for over ten years. And now, with input from several groups on campus, they’ve built the Data Storage Finder tool. I think this tool will be beneficial for researchers as they’re writing grants, planning projects, or looking for ways to preserve their data long term” says, Jan Cheetham, Research Cyberinfrastructure Liaison. 

The Research Data Storage Finder focuses on helping researchers navigate changing campus services, more easily write data management plans or funding documentation, and make it easier to comply with security requirements and regulations. 

However, many storage services are also available for teaching, outreach, and administrative data, so all users are welcome to use this tool. Cameron Cook, Digital Curation Coordinator, says, “we also want to recognize that many departments and centers may also offer specialized resources or services, so we encourage users to reach out to those units directly for more information.” 

Allan Barclay, Information Architecture Librarian, enjoys the idea of pulling together lots of diverse information into one tool that allows for a decent amount of compare-and-contrast, sort-and-filter functionality. Barclay shares, “To be more direct, one of the first/main questions researchers seem to have is “I need disc/space/storage” – this is a more elegant (and helpful) response than “it’s complicated”

Cheetham mentions that Research Data Services has team members from academic departments and the Libraries, and DoIT. “RDS started as a collaboration between these units, and the Libraries and DoIT are now embarking on another collaboration that will expand options for researchers who want to make their data sets accessible to the public.” 

To access the tool, visit this page

Some tips on how to navigate the page: on the left-hand side of the page, users can describe their research data attributes by answering the questions. As the questions are responded to, suitable services will be highlighted on the page’s right-hand side. To learn more about services, users can click anywhere in the service box, and a comparison chart will appear below. To send the results to themselves or receive more assistance, users can fill out the contact information at the bottom of the page. 

We thank Michael Layde, Allan Barclay, Jan Cheetham, DoIT Core Services, the Box Evaluation Project team, Office of Compliance, Office of Cybersecurity, Kent Emerson, and Cameron Cook for making this possible. We also thank Cornell University Research Data Management Service Group and Cornell Information Technologies Custom Development Group for building this Drupal module.

Don’t miss out! You can register for the workshop in the link below!

Navigating the Research Data Storage Landscape at UW-Madison” workshop – Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 at 2PM CST. Register here.