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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions on Data Storage, Research Software, Research Data Management and ARC

Please click the questions below to see the answers.

Data Storage:

What kind of research data can I store in McGill OneDrive or MS Teams?

  • McGill OneDrive and MS Teams are approved for storing protected or regulated research data.
  • Regulated research data includes information governed by legal regulations, such as personal information (e.g. name, email address, mailing address, IP address, health card number, social insurance number, etc.) and personal health information (e.g. electronic health records). Please note that these types of regulated data may be stored on McGill OneDrive or MS Teams with participant consent.
  • Please note, Payment Card Information is NOT approved to be stored in McGill OneDrive or MS Teams.

What is the storage capacity for McGill OneDrive and MS Teams?

  • The default allocation for McGill OneDrive is 1 TB.
  • MS Teams can provide up to 25 TB of file storage per site/team.

Can my students use McGill OneDrive or MS Teams to store research data?

  • Yes. These two solutions will be accessible if they have an active affiliation at McGill.

What data storage options are approved at McGill to store personal information and/or personal health data securely?

  • McGill OneDrive, MS Teams, and D2 spaces are approved for storing protected or regulated data.
  • You can store research data involving personal information, personal health information with participant consent in McGill OneDrive and MS Teams.
  • For information on different data storage options at McGill, please consult the knowledge Base article on Document storing and sharing. (McGill Login required.)

Can I share files stored in my McGill OneDrive or MS Teams with external collaborators outside of McGill?

  • Yes. You may even assign permissions to allow different levels of access for any collaborators within or outside of McGill.
  • When in doubt about document sharing and storage solutions, you can open a general inquiry ticket with McGill IT service desk (https://mcgill.service-now.com/itportal/) or email the Digital Research Services Hub at drs[at]mcgill.ca.

Can I store research data on my own private Cloud or other services (e.g., personal Dropbox)?

  • The McGill Cloud Directive “applies to all members of the McGill University community that acquire or use Cloud Services for Enterprise Data or Research Data”, such that “Confidential Data must always undergo the Cloud Services acquisition process”. (https://www.mcgill.ca/it/cloud-services)
  • Please refer to the McGill approved Cloud Services for the list of approved solutions. You may also refer to the list of McGill rejected Cloud Services for more information. (McGill login required.)

For simulation studies conducted in my field of research, we generate several TBs of data a week. What storage and computational resources are available to accommodate my research?

  • Large storage can be obtained for a fee at ITS or freely with Calcul Quebec/Compute Canada for non-regulated data.
  • Please contact McGill IT Services (https://mcgill.service-now.com/itportal/) or our Digital Research Services Hub (drs[at]mcgill.ca) for large storage needs assessment. 
 
 
Research Software:

Can I use Zoom to conduct research involving human participants, such as interviews and focus groups?

  • McGill has currently vetted Zoom services for teaching purposes only.
  • Webex and MS Teams have been approved for any usage, including research usage involving public, protected, and regulated data with participant consent.
  • If you have special needs for using specific online conferencing platforms to conduct your research, please consult with our team at drs[at]mcgill.ca.

What kind of McGill approved software can I use to record and transcribe interviews and focus groups?

  • McGill Webex and MS Teams are both vetted for recording and transcribing face-to-face interviews and focus groups.
  • Webex can transcribe in English only.
  • Starting August 16th, 2021, all new Teams meeting recordings will be saved to McGill OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online instead of MS Stream. The live transcription feature in MS Teams recordings is available in English only. 
  • Please note that the auto captioning feature (in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, or Spanish) remains the same for now in MS Stream. For more info: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/stream/portal-autogenerate-captions.

I conduct my interviews with participants in both English and French. Can Webex’s transcription system transcribe French interviews automatically?

  • No. Currently, Webex can transcribe recordings in English only.
  • Starting August 16th, 2021, all new Teams meeting recordings will be saved to McGill OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online instead of MS Stream. The live transcription feature in MS Teams recordings is available in English only.
  • Please note that the auto captioning feature (in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, or Spanish) remains the same for now in MS Stream. For more info: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/stream/portal-autogenerate-captions.

What survey tools are approved by McGill for research purposes?

  • McGill LimeSurvey (v.3); You may request a McGill LimeSurvey account by submitting a General Request Form at McGill IT Services Portal with “Access to LimeSurvey version 3” as subject title.
  • McGill provided MS Forms is also available as a survey tool. Please refer to the About: Surveys, Quizzes and Forms in Microsoft 365 Knowledge Base article.

Can I use LimeSurvey to collect regulated personal information (e.g., emails, IP addresses)?

  • Yes. McGill hosted LimeSurvey version 3 can be used for research purposes to collect demographic information of human participants, including personal information and personal health information with participant consent.

Can I use Qualtrics or REDCap Cloud to conduct my research?

  • REDCap Cloud has not yet been vetted for cybersecurity or legal compliance for any use at McGill.
  • Qualtrics is currently in the process of being vetted for research purposes at McGill.

Do I need to plan ahead for the renewal of payable Cloud Service subscriptions?

  • It is recommended to work with your Fund Financial Manager (FFM) to identify these renewals as soon as possible in the fiscal year (May 1st), and a minimum of 3 month before the subscription expires.
  • More details on subscription renewals and other common questions can be found on the Cloud Services Consideration page.
 
 
Web Hosting:

Is web-hosting for media files on university servers possible?

  • Yes.
  • Virtual Web Hosting Service at McGill (VHOST) publishes independently designed websites on a centrally managed system that is secure, reliable and easily recoverable, with a reduced risk of server downtime. Please contact McGill IT Services directly for more information.

I want to build and host my own website. What options are available to me?

 
 
Research Data Management:

Should I encrypt my files and how?

  • Data encryption is strongly recommended for anyone storing confidential data on their computers.
  • Please refer to the full disk encryption knowledge bases article for concrete steps of encrypting your computer. (McGill Login required.)

I want to write a data management plan (DMP) for my next grant application. What are the tools and services available to help me in writing DMPs?

  • You may use the DMP Assistant (https://assistant.portagenetwork.ca/) developed by the NDRIO-Portage network to help you to draft your DMPs. This is a free online bilingual tool for writing your DMPs. You will also find several disciplinary specific DMP templates within this tool.
  • More information on DMPs: https://www.mcgill.ca/library/services/data-services/organizing
  • Our Research Data Management Specialist from the library is also available to consult on writing data management plans. You may contact her at rdm.library [at] mcgill.ca.

Where can I get someone to review my DMPs?

I want to deposit my data in a data repository. Should I include documentation to describe the data along with my dataset?

  • Yes.
  • Including documentation to describe your research and your data can help others and even the future you to understand and to increase the reusability of the data.
  • Typical documentation for describing your data could include: a high-level “Readme” file for project information, a codebook, or a data dictionary.

Where can I access the online self-paced McGill RDM Learning Program?

  • If you have a McGill email account, you can self-enroll in the McGill RDM Learning Program via MyCourses directly here.
  • For members of McGill affiliated hospitals or research centers (without a McGill email account), please complete this form to be enrolled in this RDM Learning Program.
  • If you have any suggestions about the contents of the program, if you would like to contribute to this program, or if you want to incorporate some parts of this program in a course you are teaching at McGill, please contact us at drs[at]mcgill.ca. 

Last updated on 2021-08-20

 

 

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