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Research Computing Services

Information Technology Services

Data Management

Digital Research Data Backup and Storage (DRDBS) Policy

Most Recent Version approved by Research Advisory Council Sept 13, 2017 and by IT Council Oct. 3, 2017


DRDBS Policy - Related Procedures

If your research does not involve human subject data you may choose to store and backup data on the S: network drive or on your ETSU Microsoft OneDrive business account. Anything stored on either the S: network drive or on OneDrive is automatically backed up for you. You can request a research folder on the S: drive using the Computer Account Request form below. All ETSU faculty, staff, and students have access to their own 1 TB OneDrive accounts which can be accessed using their ETSU credentials - you do not need to request a OneDrive account although you may want to download and install the OneDrive Sync Client (see links below) to enable automatic backup of selected folders.

Computer Account Request Form

When requesting a research folder on the S: drive, please use section 4 of the computer account request form to list those ETSU faculty, staff, and students who will require write access to the folder and you may want to suggest a name for the project folder.

If a student researcher is working on an ETSU research laboratory computer on Campus, that computer can easily be mapped to the S: drive. However, student researchers cannot access the S: drive from off campus and it is difficult for them to access the S: drive using computers in the open student labs, personal laptops, or personal mobile devices. If your research is primarily off campus and does not involve human subject data, you may want to store and backup your data on OneDrive which can be accessed via numerous devices on or off campus.

How to - OneDrive Sync Client for PC

Download OneDrive Sync Client for PC

How to - OneDrive Sync Client for Mac

Download OneDrive Sync Client for Mac

How to - OneDrive Sync Client for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)

Download OneDrive Sync Client for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)

How to - OneDrive Sync Client for Android

Download OneDrive Sync Client for Android

If you are running a Linux distro, there are a couple of partially completed OneDrive sync clients but none that we would recommend at this time. You can still take advantage of your 1 TB OneDrive space by authenticating to your ETSU OneDrive account via the web at and manually transferring files from your Linux machine to OneDrive. If you are using numerous devices to upload files to your OneDrive account, you may prefer to access your account via the web interface. The web interface will allow you to reliably view all files in your OneDrive account, regardless of how many different devices you used to upload the files.


Sharing Research Data

Federal or other grants may require that you share raw research data. Generally, you are only required to share data specific to publications. There are many ways that you can share data (email, CDs, DVDs, flash drives) but network sharing is very convenient - at ETSU, you might send someone data files using ETSU's secure dropbox (limit 2 GB per file), or share research files or folders using your ETSU Microsoft Business OneDrive account, or authorize access to a data set on the RedCap survey server. The person wishing to see your data does not have to have ETSU credentials; they might authenticate with a non-ETSU email address, for example. If you need to make a generic research dataset publicly available, you might upload the data file(s) to the server and post a link to that file on a webpage.

If the dataset involves HIPAA or other identifiable human data, the data must be thoroughly de-identified prior to sharing - you may want to confirm that a dataset is safe to share with the HIPAA Compliance Officer or IRB Chair.

Students can easily share generic research data (data not involving human subjects) with their research supervisors by setting up a shared folder on their ETSU OneDrive for Business Account. Students can upload data files to their OneDrive account using a number of networked devices and from nearly any networked location in the world. Just create a research folder and then use "share with" to give your research supervisor permission to access your research data using their ETSU credentials. When sharing folders on your OneDrive account, set folder permission to "view only." This will prevent anyone from accidentally deleting one of your data files.


Data Encryption

If you are working with HIPAA or PHI research data, encryption requirements are in place and you will have encountered those requirements in your HIPAA training. If you are working with FERPA or other identifiable human research data, encryption is recommended. If you are working with generic data (data not involving human subjects), you might choose to encrypt your research data for any number of reasons, a common one being that you are involved in a competitive research field. If you do decide to encrypt your research data, be sure to share your decryption key with your co-investigators and to back up the decryption key somewhere safe such as an ETSU network drive or on your OneDrive account.

You can encrypt your own flash drives and mobile devices:

  • Back up existing files on your flash drive before encrypting, just in case something goes wrong.
  • On a Mac, you can encrypt a flash drive with or without files by right clicking on the flash drive and selecting "encrypt (flashdrive name)." You can open the flashdrive on any Mac.
  • On a PC, you can right click on the flash drive and select "Turn on Bitlocker." Existing files will be encrypted. Select compatibility mode. You can even open the flash drive on Macs by installing M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac.
  • On a Linux running the Gnome Desktop, you can encrypt a flash drive using Disk Utility. The flash drive will be re-formatted and all files erased. The flash drive will not work on PC's or Mac's but can be opened on any Linux running the Gnome Desktop.
  • Always save your password and/or encryption key in a safe location.
  • Phones can be encrypted using security settings.
  • Do not interrupt an encryption process in progress as data may be lost.


Research and Data Subject to Export Control

If your planned research is subject to export control regulations, contact Wendy Eckert, ETSU Assistant VP of Research and Director of Sponsored Programs at 423-439-6000 or .


Research and Data Involving Human Subjects

If your planned research involves human subjects in any way, contact one of the IRB Chairs. If your planned research involves HIPAA identifiers you will need to contact the HIPAA Compliance Officer.

Campus IRB Chair -Dr. Stacey Williams at 423-439-4615 or

Medical IRB Chair - Dr. George Youngberg at 423-439-6120 or .

HIPAA Compliance Officer - Lindsay Daniel at 423-439-8533 or


REDCap Research Servers

We currently manage two REDCap servers, one of which is HIPAA compliant. REDCap servers are free resources for ETSU researchers and their off-campus collaborators. The servers provide the ability to build databases or acquire data via surveys. Any ETSU employee or student may use for research purposes. This server may NOT be used for HIPAA or PHI data. The server is available for research containing PHI or HIPAA-regulated data.  Please use the Computer Account Request Form below to request an account on either server.  If your study data are being acquired for publications or presentations, you must have IRB approval and that protocol number should be indicated on the Computer Account Request Form.

Introduction to the REDCap Server

Computer Account Request Form

For more information, email or call x94142 on campus (423-439-4142 from off campus)


Research Software

We are available to help review, download, install, update, migrate, and launch research-related software applications. Please keep copies of all software licenses for warranty and migration purposes.

List of Research Software in Use at ETSU

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