Mar 6 – 8, 2023
Europe/Zurich timezone

Research Drive, a platform for active research data management

Mar 6, 2023, 4:15 PM
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Narges Zarrabi


One of the challenges of research institutes is finding a proper tooling and platforms to practice and support research data management. SURF has more than 100 institutes in different sectors and has various user types from researchers and data stewards to librarians and research supporters. This translates to a wide range of requirements for research data management in our user community. To address those requirements, we have developed a national service called Research Drive, which accommodates different roles mapping to the roles and responsibilities involved in research and research support within an institute.
A regular user can store data, have access to sync and share functionalities, and collaborate on data as primary needs of researchers. An owner of a project folder is a regular user with extra privileges on project level to make project folder structure and invite and give permissions to others to use the data. To accommodate power users, i.e., data stewards, research supporters or IT staff at institutes, we have developed integrated apps such as the Dashboard app for managing users, projects and storage quotas and the Reporting app for an overview of all shares, permissions and other service-related information such as service availability. We setup Research Drive as dedicated instances per institute which makes customizations possible. The RDSettings app enables the power users to enforce policies institute wide, such as enforcing policies for sharing, passwords, and multi-factor authentication (MFA).
We are continuously working to improve the service performance and user experience and address the feature requests of our institutes. To improve the performance we are going to replace the storage backend of Research Drive from Object Store to Ceph. We are going to use Keycloak as Identity and Access Management provider. This will be run on a kubernetes cluster and integrated with LDAP to support OpenIDconnect and eduID. One of the main feature requests we have is the need for archiving and publishing data from Research Drive. For this we are integrating the Sciebo RDS app to facilitate data archiving and publication workflows. A strict auditing feature is also being implemented to be able to closely monitor activities. This feature is of interest for hosting sensitive data and can be configured per project bases. In this talk we present the latest developments and plans for the Research Drive service.

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