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Research Computing Services

Information Technology Services

Data Management
Student Research Support Services
ETSU Faculty provide expertise in a myriad of academic specialties. But there are many additional research resources on Campus. ITS-Research Computing Services staff are happy to meet with Students. We will do our best to answer your questions, let you know about services we provide, and help you locate additional resources available on Campus.
Digital Research Data Storage and Backup Policy - download the latest version.

Download the DRDSB Policy (PDF)

Be aware that this is a draft currently undergoing revision for presentation to University Council in May, 2018.

Digital Research Data Storage and Backup Recommendations - presented as a figure.

Flowchart of recommended research data storage and backup locations.

Digital Research Data Storage and Backup Recommendations - presented as a table.
Computer Account Request Form

Computer Account Request Form

To request a research folder on S, a REDCap survey account, a special e-mail account, etc.

If you are requesting a research folder on the S: drive, please use section 4 of the 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.  


Sharing Research Data

Requirements: Federal or other grants may require that you share raw research data. Generally, you are only required to share data specific to publications. Statistical packages like SPSS can be used to log step-by-step analytical procedures which can be helpful. If you use AWS-EC2 for advanced computing, AWS can maintain an exact record of every step performed, including the cluster you architect for data analysis.

Non-human research data: Traditional methods of sharing include email attachments, CDs, DVDs, and flash drives. More recent methods include ETSU's secure dropbox (limit 2 GB per file), shared research files or folders within an ETSU Microsoft Business OneDrive account, or authorized access to a data set on the RedCap survey server. The person rquesting your data can authenticate with a non-ETSU email address; ITS can provide assistance. A dataset can be shared publicly by uploading data file(s) to the server and posting links to the files on a webpage.

Identifiable Human Data: Data must be appropriately de-identified prior to sharing. Consult with the HIPAA Compliance Officer or IRB Chair prior to sharing. Appropriately de-identified data may generally be shared as for non-human research data.

Students: If you need to share data files with your research supervisor, and it is permissible to do so (eg. the files do NOT contain HIPAA identifiers), you can set up a shared folder on your ETSU OneDrive for Business Account. Simply 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" to prevent anyone from accidentally deleting your data files. If your data include HIPAA identifiers, you must strictly adhere to the data handling protocol approved by the IRB. OneDrive is NOT approved for HIPAA data.

Sharing Research Data with ETSU OneDrive for Business
You may share any research data other than HIPAA. If your data contain any information regarding human subjects, consult with your research supervisor to be certain that any data sharing method used has been approved or waived by ETSU IRB.
Off Campus Access to Research Data

Non-HIPAA Data: Faculty, staff, and students can access their ETSU OneDrive for Business accounts from off campus. The ETSU REDCap Survey/Database servers can also be accessed from off campus. You may also request remote access to your ETSU desktop computer through the Remote Desktop Gateway.

Remote Gateway Access

HIPAA Data: You may do so only using a protocol approved by the ETSU IRB and HIPAA Compliance Officer, subject to the regulations of any collaborating institution, and only following HIPAA training.

Map an ETSU Computer to a Network Drive?
Instructions are found at The Help Desk is happy to assist if required. To access a network drive, the computer must be on the ETSU Network.
Human Subject Research

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 for assistance with data backup.

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

Animal Subject Research

If your planned research involves animal subjects in any way, contact the ETSU University Committee on Animal Care to discuss alternatives, requirements, and protocols. Their website is

Export Control Regulations

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 .

Statistical Packages Available at ETSU

ETSU maintains Enterprise licenses for SAS (version 9.4), SPSS (version 25), and Minitab (version 18). You may be able to access these programs from your desktop but, if not, contact the ITS Help Desk for installation. Be certain that your computer is running the latest version so that all current features are available.

A number of researchers at ETSU use R. The "R Project" is an open source platform for statistical computing and graphics. "R studio" is an integrated development environment that simplifies the use of R through a console. "Crantastic" is an online community where you can download statistical packages that run with R.

Statistical Packages in Combination with Advanced Computing

Research Computing Services can help you install an instance of SAS for use with AWS-EC2. Other packages may be available through the AWS-Alces-Flight partnership.

R is an existing statistical program at ACF. Other packages may be available through software licenses provided to ACF through the University of Tennessee.

Qualitative Statistics at ETSU
All of the statistical packages licensed for use at ETSU support analysis of qualitative data. The tools available for qualitative analysis are sometimes obscured by the magnitude of the packages. If you need help with a specific type of data analysis, contact us and we will do our best find an available solution.
Graphics Packages at ETSU
All statistical packages licensed for use at ETSU support graphical presentation of data. For example, SPSS provides the "Chart Builder," SAS provides the "ODS Graphics Designer and Editor," and Minitab provides the "Graph" feature. In addition, the Tableau Graphics package is available free to students and instructors, although there is a fee for use by administrators.
Data Encryption

If you are using an ETSU-owned Mac or Windows laptop, everything on the laptop is already encrypted per TN state requirement. If your research involves HIPAA data, you are already aware that your data must be encrypted at rest and during transfer.

By default, ETSU desktops are not encrypted. But it is possible to encrypt files and flash drives using ETSU desktops. ETSU Windows desktops make available BitLocker encryption while ETSU Mac computers use FileVault.

Personal devices may or may not be encrypted depending on default settings of the manufacturer. Encryption of any file, folder, or device does increase data security but also requires that you securely maintain copies of the password and/or key used to access the encrypted content or device.

Data Encryption - Precautions
  • Back up data before encrypting in case anything interrupts the encryption process.
  • Never interrupt an encryption process in progress.
  • Safely record and back up any passwords or decryption codes created during encryption.
  • Before using an unfamiliar encryption tool, ask the ITS HelpDesk if it is a known, reliable encryption tool.
  • When a file from an encrypted device is shared (copied to another device or sent as an e-mail attachment) the shared copy is not encrypted.


Flash Drive Encryption

Flash Drive for Mac + Windows - We currently recommend that you purchase a commercial flash drive that is "hardware encrypted" and warranted to work on both Mac and Windows.

Flash Drive for Mac Only - On your Mac, right click on any USB flash drive and select "encrypt (flashdrive name)." This will encrypt the flashdrive with FileVault. We recommend that you encrypt the entire flash drive. Existing files should not be lost. You can open the flashdrive on any Mac.

Flash Drive for Windows Only - On your PC, right click on the flash drive and select "Turn on Bitlocker." We recommend that you encrypt the entire flashdrive. Existing files should not be lost. Select compatibility mode to open the flash drive on any computer running Windows 7 or newer Windows operating system.

Flash Drive for Linux Only - On a Linux running the Gnome Desktop, encrypt an entire flash drive using Disk Utility. The flash drive will be re-formatted and all files erased. The flash drive will work on any Linux running the Gnome Desktop.

Password Management

Password Management Service - If you have encrypted a number of devices with different passwords you may want to use a password management system. ITS-RCS is currently reviewing DashLane and KeePass.

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