We are pleased to announce the launch of the ‘Online Research Database Service’ (ORDS). The ORDS is a free, centrally-supported, online service where researchers can create, edit, search and share their research data. The service is open to all research staff and postgraduate research students at the University of Oxford, plus their collaborators. Users can upload existing databases and spreadsheets into the ORDS, or create new databases from scratch. Different project members can be assigned different levels of permission, to ensure that only those people who ought to be able to edit the data can do so, whilst others can see and query the data that is already there. Data can be exported from the ORDS into almost all popular data analysis software. The ORDS comes with its own online viewing, editing, and querying interfaces, but the data in ORDS can also be accessed via custom-built websites or popular database management software.
The ORDS was developed by staff at University of Oxford IT Services and all data in the service is hosted within the University. If you are looking for a straightforward and secure platform on which to develop and share a research database, go to http://ords.ox.ac.uk for more information about the service and instructions on how to register.
The ORDS will be offered initially as mediated service. Any University of Oxford researcher can register and try out a limited version of the ORDS, but you will need to get in touch with the service team before accessing the full service. This is to ensure that the ORDS can indeed meet your research requirements and to get a sense of how it will be used.
The ORDS is likely to be of interest to you if:
- You are building a database of research information, especially if you are doing so as part of a team
- You want to share an existing database with colleagues or the wider research community
- You would like to developed a database in a free and non-proprietary format
- You would like to be able to publish subsets of a database that underpin research articles
- You want somewhere to host a database that can be used as the back-end to a research website
The ORDS is not intended for:
- ‘big data’ databases, of over 10 GB or so
- Highly sensitive non-anonymized data
We will seek to develop the ORDS to cater for users with such data in future and continue to improve the service in response to user feedback.