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Options for sharing files within a research group

When you need to share files between researchers within a project group, there are several tools/services available depending on where the files will be principally processed.

FMRIB Cluster

When processing files on the FMRIB Cluster, the data will need to reside in a project specific folder within the '/vols/Data' or a group scratch folder. Folder permissions should be set to be as restrictive as possible to avoid access to confidential files by unauthorised users. WIN IT can provide an appropriate POSIX group to achieve this.

Avoid sharing files out of your own scratch folder - it makes it harder to segregate access and user scratch folders will be removed when the account expires, which may come as a surprise to other users.

BMRC Cluster

BMRC request that each research project has its own data folder/POSIX group to comply with data governance requirements. They may also require the use of separate user accounts for each project if the data is particularly sensitive. Ordinarily you will not be able to share data files between research projects if this user account segregation is in place, so you should discuss appropriate options with the BMRC team where this is necessary/approved.

BMRC storage offers no backup AT ALL. Make sure that all users having write access to files are fully aware of this, and make files (and their parent folders) read only where possible, and be sure to make copies to several alternate services, e.g. FMRIB /vols/Data, of irreplaceable files.


Where the data being shared within the group is not sensitive then you should consider OneDrive, Teams or SharePoint. Sensitive data should not be processed on these devices. Please consider the data backup implications of locally synchronised shared folders in OneDrive/Teams - these are not normally backed up by your laptop backup system, so be aware of the file retention limitations of OneDrive, Teams and SharePoint. For really important files you should consider taking regular copies onto an orthogonal service, e.g. FMRIB /vols/Data or taking a copy out of the sync folder to ensure Code42 can protect the file - assuming it is appropriate for this file to be stored on the local storage for this computer.

Teams can be used with external collaborators, assuming that appropriate data sharing agreements are in place. The external user will need a Microsoft account associated with their email address (this can be a free account), and will have 'guest' access rights. This does limit there access a little, see for details.

Other options for storing and sharing data include the Divisional 2TS storage and University-wide RFS, the later will be able to support external collaborators later in 2023.