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b. Perform your research

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Searching and using scientific information

When doing research you will need time and effort in searching and using scientific literature and, in some cases, finding adequate sources of secondary data.

For support contact the information specialist of your faculty or send your question to the Research Support Desk.


The digital library is your starting point for finding scientific information about your research topic. You can use the FindUT search tool to discover the collection of the UT library, most of it full text online available. Furthermore, the digital library presents an overview of available literature databases and other (scientific) information sources. You can also find advice about searching for scientific information per discipline. 


To discover data relevant for your research have a look at the following portals and/or data providers:

Table: data sources


short description

geographical coverage


Open Data Nederland

Descriptions of Dutch open datasets in a single searchable catalog



Data.Gov and Socrata / Open Data Network (commercial service)

U.S. Government’s open data



Dataportaal van de Nederlandse overheid

Dutch government’s data (like CBS-data)



European Union Open Data Portal

Open data from EU institutions, agencies and other bodies (like Eurostat)



CERN Open Data Portal

Data, including accompanying software and documentation, produced through the research performed at CERN.



Data Portals

A Comprehensive List of Open Data Portals from around the World



Open Access Directory

List of repositories and databases for open data



Google Public Data Explorer - Public Data sets

Public data search engine


governments/ international organizations


Research data from technical universities in the Netherlands


technical/beta sciences

ArcGIS Open Data

Open data available from ArcGIS community



OpenAIRE / Zenodo

Research data from EU funded projects



Registry of Research Data Repositories

Overview of research data repositories 




Research data shared by individual researchers 



DataCite Search

Metadata search facility for research data




Social sciences research data in the Netherlands


social sciences/humanities


Metadata search facility for research data




Research data linked to publications




Open datasets in public domains 



ICSU World Data System

Metadata search facility for research data



Research Software Directory

Repository for software as data



Storing and sharing research data

Storing and sharing of data refers to its dynamic phase during the project. As soon as your research datasets are stable and static they can be archived for long-term preservation. For more information see: archiving research data.

UT policy on storing research data

The UT Research Data Management policy prescribes that all collected research data, including related materials (e.g. protocols, models or questionnaires), must be stored in the ISO 27001- and NEN 7510-certified Home directory or the Project and organization directory, managed by the UT (LISA).

Many researchers use the local drive on their laptop or computer as the main storage medium for research data, without automatic backup or strict backup procedures. However, data on the local drive may be lost in case of malfunctioning or because the device is lost or stolen. Therefore, use these media only for copies of your non-confidential data files. 

Loss of personal or confidential data must be considered as a data breachTo avoid data breach always use an encrypted folder or encrypted data storageFor more information see: Cyber Safety.

Personal/individual UT Network storage

When you need to store data secure and reliable for individual use, you can use the network drive called Home directory, also known as M:-drive, on the UT central hard disks. Standard maximum capacity is 10 GB.

Documents stored within the Home directory can’t be shared with others. The path to this network drive is \\AD.utwente.nl\HOME\<loginname> (for example \\AD.utwente.nl\HOME\wamozart).

Sometimes you accidentally overwrite or remove files. You can restore these files yourself in Windows Explorer (right-click on the file: Restore previous versions)

Data are saved for one month on redundant hard disks. This backup will only be used for calamities like server failure or broken hard disks. It will not be used for restoring individual files. For more information see: Backups for employees.

Group/share UT Network storage

When you need to store and share research data, you can use the network drive called Project and organization directory, also know as P:-drive, on the UT central hard disks. The maximum capacity is dependent of the size of the group.

Folders within this directory can be shared with other members of the project or organization, as well as with specified people within or outside the UT. The path to this network drive is \\AD.utwente.nl\ORG.

Folders within this directory are created by LISA, loosely based on the organizational structure or upon request. Access rights on these folders are automatically provisioned based on organisation/department information or upon request of the folder owner. 

Sometimes you accidentally overwrite or remove files. On Windows, you can restore these files yourself in Windows Explorer (right-click on the file: Restore previous versions).


Custom filesystem

Some research projects produce large volumes of research data like measurement or simulation data. It is possible to get a custom filesystem (network-share) on the UT central hard disks to store and share this data in a secure way.

LISA can offer custom network file storage in different ways and qualities at reasonable cost. 

For support contact the ICT account manager of your faculty or send your question to the Research Support Desk.


Lightweight database

Lightweight database is a service for storing, manipulating and retrieving research data in a structured database. Every UT member of staff can apply for a lightweight database server. This member of staff can specify who should have access to this. The service is also open to participants from outside the UT, although they cannot apply for a new lightweight database server. No costs are charged for up to 5 GB data storage. A manual for the use of a lightweight database server is not supplied by LISA, but is general available on the Internet. More information


The UT Research Data Management policy prescribes that personal cloud services must not be used for master data files. It can only be used for copies and should comply with legal and contractual conditions. The preferred personal cloud service is Surfdrive. This service complies to the Dutch and European privacy legislation (see below).

Two options for secure storing and sharing data (and other files) for researchers are:


When you need secure file storage and/or share these with colleagues (also from other universities) you can use SURFdrive, a personal cloud storage service for the Dutch education and research community. You can simply login with your UT user name and password.


When you are looking for a place to safely store, share and even archive research data, text, whole databases or other scientific information, use DataverseNL. Compared to SURFdrive it offers you more facilities for describing the data.

DataverseNL allows you to share datasets with other scientists. You can determine who gets access to which materials and what their access rights are (user, contributor or curator).

You can archive the data and make them accessible to anyone, choosing any license for use, including CC0 (CC Zero Waiver) or ODBL (Open Database License).


You can use the cloud service Microsoft OneDrive with your UT e-mail address. It offers a GDPR compliant solution for having multiple access to your data and sharing with others. For more information see: Office 365 for employees.

Google Suite/GoogleDrive

UT students have Google Suite/Google Drive and Google Mail for using mail and sharing data.

UT employees can use the clouds service Google Suite/Google Drive as well with their UT mail address (@utwente.nl). Notice that only with this @utwente.nl account Google offers a GDPR compliant solution for having multiple access to your data and sharing with others. 

As UT employee you have to enable Google Suite/Google Drive. This can be done at the self-service portal.


Dropbox cannot be used with your UT m-account and is therefore not recommended for storing and sharing your research data. Furthermore, Dropbox is not GDPR compliant. 

Overview of data storage

Table: overview of data storage


When you want to send large files in any format to other people you can use SURFfilesender. With SURFfilesender you determine who has access to your valuable files.

You can send files up to 250 MB extra securely using encryption (500 GB not encrypted).

Data analysis


High Performance computing (HPC)

If you need to perform computer calculations during your research and you are unable to run these on your own system, there are a number of possibilities.

Buying your own IT-Equipment

In case you have budget for purchasing your own IT equipment for HPC, contact the ICT account manager of your faculty for advice about and support for setup, maintenance and housing.

Hiring computing capacity at SURFsara

SURFsara is the Dutch national supercomputing organization that facilitates high performance computing infrastructure.

For large computer calculations you can submit an application (funding/grant) for SURFSara HPC-capacity to NWO.


When you need to develop software for your research you can get support from the Netherlands eScience Center, the Dutch national center of excellence for the development and application of research software to advance academic research.


Researchers from the behavioural, management and social sciences can make use of specific data labs. See BMSLab.


Visualization makes it easy to identify connections between data or gain other insight into your datasets. SURFsara offers a powerful remote visualization service that combines high performance with ease of use.


When working with personal data (data on identified or identifiable natural living persons) you need to comply with Dutch Personal Data Protection Act (Wet Bescherming Persoonsgegevens) based on the European regulations regarding privacy (AVG). In many cases you need to pseudonymize or anonymize the data.

In short, pseudonymization is a method to substitute identifiable data with a reversible, consistent value. Anonymization is the destruction of the identifiable data. More detailed information you find below.


Wikipedia: "Pseudonymization is a procedure by which the most identifying fields within a data record are replaced by one or more artificial identifiers, or pseudonyms. There can be a single pseudonym for a collection of replaced fields or a pseudonym per replaced field. The purpose is to render the data record less identifying and therefore lower customer or patient objections to its use. Data in this form is suitable for extensive analytics and processing. [...] The application of pseudonymization to e-health intends to preserve the patient's privacy and data confidentiality. It allows primary use of medical records by authorized health care providers and privacy-preserving secondary use by researchers. However, plain pseudonymization for privacy preservation often reaches its limits when genetic data are involved. Due to the identifying nature of genetic data, depersonalization is often not sufficient to hide the corresponding person. Potential solutions are the combination of pseudonymization with fragmentation and encryption."1

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudonymization, retrieved August 31, 2017.


Wikipedia: "technology that converts clear text data into a nonhuman readable and irreversible form..."2. In the context of medical data anonymized data refers to data from which the patient cannot be identified by the recipient of the information. The name, address, and full post code must be removed, together with any other information which, in conjunction with other data held by or disclosed to the recipient, could identify the patient3.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_anonymization, retrieved August 31, 2017

[3]: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Anonymized+Data, retrieved August 31, 2017

Tools for anonymization:

Several anonymization tools are available. Here is a list of anonymization tools (information from https://windowsreport.com/data-anonymization-software/): 

  • ARX Data Anonymization Tool
    Download for free from the official tool website
    ARX is an open-source software for anonymizing sensitive personal data. The tool transforms datasets into syntactic privacy models that mitigate attacks leading to privacy breaches.
    ARX removes direct identifiers such as names from datasets and adds further constraints on indirect identifiers, such as email addresses or phone numbers. The tools also provides built-in data import facilities for relational databases (MS SQL, DB2, SQLite, MySQL), MS Excel and CSV files.
  • Anonymizer
    Download from Eyedea with free trial. A license is needed if using Anonymizer.
    Data can also come in the form of images. If you need a tool to blur images, we recommend Anonymizer. The software detects faces, car number plates and other image information in various scales and orientations and applies blurring filters to make the information unreadable.
    The Anonymizer SDK is a standalone C/C++ library for Windows and Linux. You can use it to anonymize street-view photos, webcam photos, or any other photos for which privacy is a major concern.
  • Imperva Camouflage Data Marking Software
    Download Imperva software free tryout. A license if needed to use this tool.
    Imperva Camouflage’s data making tool removes the sensitive data hindering test, outsourcing, and analytics. The tool de-identifies sensitive data, and retains the realism and functionality of the original data set.
    The data categories these tools can work with include names, addresses, credit cards, SSN/SIN, phone, and more.
  • NLM Scrubber
    Download NLM Scrubber
    NLM-Scrubber is a new, free clinical text de-identification tool. The software is currently in its initial beta stage, but you can already try it out if you’re curious. The good news is that its developers will release a non-beta version of the tool. NLM-Scrubber is to be mainly used for de-identifying medical documents.
    More information can be found here.
  • Aircloak
    Try Aircloak
    Aircloak is a new data anonymisation solution that you can use to keep personal identifiable information private.
    The software does not affect data quality or quantity in any way. You can still use the respective data to analyze information and while complying with the latest user privacy regulations.


At the UT there are three facilities available for collaborating on data or documents: Sharepoint, UT-wiki and a version control system.


UT Sharepoint is a web-based, collaborative platform where you and your colleagues can collaborate on Microsoft Office documents and see everyone’s changes as they happen.

For support about using Sharepoint contact the ICT Servicedesk. It is possible to attend to a two-day Sharepoint training; for detailed information see the LISA Self-service portal.


Every UT staff member can apply for a wiki. The applicant must specify who should have read-only access and who can make changes to the wiki. The service is also accessible to UT students and, in mutual consultation, also to participants from outside the UT. 

For support contact the ICT account manager of your faculty or send your question to the Research Support Desk.


A version control system (VCS) is for tracking changes in computer files and coordinating work on those files among multiple people. It consists of a client and a server. It is primarily used for source code management in software development, but it can be used to keep track of the changes in any set of files. As a distributed revision control system it is aimed at both the speed, the data integrity, and the support for distributed, non-linear workflows.

A SVN, Mercurial or GIT client (OpenSource software) is required in order to use a version control system. No costs are charged for up to 1GB storage on the server.

For support contact the ICT account manager of your faculty or send your question to the Research Support Desk.

Organising an event, workshop or conference


CongresAssociatie Twente, located in Drienerburght Hotel, has experience in organising conferences, symposia and events. 


UT proceedings is a platform for making publications of a workshop or conference organized by you or the organization you represents, available. You can choose to make these publications available before or after the event. Especially if you want to make the publications available before the event, please be aware of the planning of depositing and ingest of the publications.

For support contact the information specialist of your faculty or send your question to the Research Support Desk.