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Remote Research Data Resources

Introductory Note

In light of our current situation, navigating working from home, understanding how to maintain our workflows, and in some cases, collaborating from multiple locations, our ways of accessing and managing files will be shifting. UH provides resources and maintains policies to keep us in connection with our content and secure in our use. 

This collection of resources can provide some basic guidance; however, the additional resources tab may direct you to more information and contacts for specific questions.

Have a question about remote data work that you think should be covered here? Feel free to reach out to Santi Thompson.

Cloud Platform to Manage Content Across Devices

University of Houston provides Microsoft Office 365. One Drive, a component of Office 365 is the personal file storage utility for university use, it allows for access from multiple locations as well as sharing and access options for collaboration.

For more on your personal UH OneDrive storage: UH IT - Office 365 - OneDrive for Business


Note - Specific rules apply to all sensitive (Level 1) data - see the Security Compliance Tab.

Accessing Local UH Files Remotely

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a system that protects data connections, allowing computers to securely connect to one another over a private local network. UH provides the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client. Access is granted using your Cougarnet ID.

To download and install:

VPN Client Download - UH Software Downloads List - VPN

More information about VPNs - UH IT - Networks - VPN

File Sync
OneDrive allows users to sync content between files on their computer and in the cloud platform. Below are sync instructions from Microsoft for both Windows and Mac Operating Systems 

Sync Files in OneDrive with Windows

Sync Files in OneDrive with Mac OS X

Version Control

Version control allows us to keep track of changes made to a document overtime and to have the capacity to restore older versions when necessary. This is especially important during remote work, syncing with local content, and distributed collaborations. It serves to mitigate loss of data and time when versions might otherwise get lost or shuffled.


Manually - For basic small scale needs:

  • Use ISO standard dates (YYYY-MM-DD) at the end of your files, or V1, V2…save a new version each time.

Tools for Version control -

MS OneDrive provides some built in version history - Version History in OneDrive

Better for groups and larger projects and when involving activities such as automating workflows, models, code, etc.

Tips and tools for remote collaboration

A consistent, shared understanding, and documentation of group research work processes is essential in distributed collaborative research. The following are resources to assist in collaborative changes and organization needed for facilitating these needs.

Security Compliance and Level 1 Data

  UH Policy information - Data Classification and Protection

Level 1 Data Definition - Confidential Information such as HIPAA, FERPA, and other applicable law and customer information, any personal identification information and personal health information, data containing trade secrets or intellectual property, and / or locations of assets and protected resources.

Requirements for Level 1 Data

  • Content must be kept within the UH network and accessed remotely through the approved VPN
  • Content must be encrypted when emailed or transmitted wirelessly. 
Level 1 data should never be stored on a device outside of the institutional network.

   Email Encryption

    Encrypt email messages in Outlook

    Learn more about email encryption in Outlook


Additional Resources

For more see: