Using TUNDRA2 for research data: a researcher’s perspective

The University’s research data policy and guidelines place responsibility for good research data management on both the Principal Investigator and the University.

The University is obliged to “provide means and services enabling registration, deposit, storage, retention of and access to digital research data” and to “hold data securely with appropriate access controls”.  Its solution for both of these requirements is TUNDRA2.

The UNARS project team have been using TUNDRA2 for their research data and I asked Research Assistant Jo Alexander about the team’s experiences:


First of all, could you just tell me a little about your project?

UNARS is a two-year European action research project exploring children and young people’s capacity for agency and resistance in situations of domestic violence and abuse. The project is led and facilitated by an academic team from the Centre for Children and Youth within the Social Sciences department of UoN, with partners in Italy, Greece, Spain and the UK.”

How have you used TUNDRA2 within this project?

“We’ve used TUNDRA2 to save and share a large amount of qualitative and quantitative data between all partnerships including:

  • Interview and focus group data (including raw data, transcriptions, analysis, as well as photographic and graphic material children produced as part of the interview and intervention process)
  • Qualitative and quantitative data from our therapeutic intervention and training programmes
  • Training manuals for researchers and therapists
  • Financial documentation
  • Project Tracking”

Do you intend to use TUNDRA2 further for this project?
“The project is now in its final stages, but we will continue to share information and data with our partners using TUNDRA2, and we will need to download material as we compose our final report to our funders, articles and papers, and in preparing for dissemination at conferences.”

What has worked well for you in using TUNDRA2?
“Using Tundra2 helped enormously with data sharing and partner collaboration. We were able to share confidential material between European partnerships in one central, secure location. It also enabled our lead team in the UK to keep track of where each partner was in the process, and how we were all progressing and moving forward with the project..”

Have you experienced any problems in using TUNDRA2?
“I don’t think any of the partnerships involved in the UNARS project used TUNDRA2 to its fullest potential. It might have helped to have a longer, more in-depth and experiential tutorial at the very start of the project.
There were issues for partners around uploading recordings and other large files to TUNDRA2. To overcome this, partners resorted to uploading material during their UK visits. This was not ideal, and I’m unsure if it was an issue with TUNDRA2 itself, or of servers that partners were using.
Where we did experience technical issues, Records Managers at UoN were available for consultation and were always incredibly helpful.
I would suggest that any projects considering using TUNDRA2 carefully consider permissions at the very start of the project, and think through who will need permission to access documents, who will need to edit and who will have permission to create and delete documents and folders. This will help to save any confusion as the project progresses.”

Would you recommend the use of TUNDRA2 for research purposes? Why?
“I would certainly recommend TUNDRA2 for research purposes. It enables secure storage and sharing of data, assists in the process of collaboration between team members and international partners. It helps researchers and managers to keep track of the progress of the project and assists in the storage and recording of the more administrative aspects such as the budget, expenses and financial documentation etc”.

Will you use TUNDRA2 again for research purposes?
“Yes, absolutely, it’s a fantastic resource!”

Since being piloted for research data use by the UNARS team, several other research teams in the Institute of Health and Wellbeing have started to use TUNDRA2 for managing their data.
If you are interested in using TUNDRA2 for your research project then please contact Phil Oakman, University Records Manager.

Posted on July 28, 2015, in Library, Research Institutes and Centres, School of Social Sciences and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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