Storage Location

There are several places where data can be stored:

  • ICT H drive: This is your home directory when you log into Windows computers. UG students are limited to 4 GB; staff and postgraduate students are limited to 8 GB. This is due to be decommissioned soon and should no longer be used.
  • OneDrive: This is useful for personal storage and sharing of small office documents (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files). The data is stored in the cloud (not necessarily the UK or Europe). Available storage is 5 TB per user, but is potentially slow to access.
  • Departmental Linux System: Useful for project/research work. Accessible from all departmental Linux machines, or remotely using a file transfer client. Each user is given a 100 GB quota for their home directory. Additional project spaces can be allocated by request from academic staff to
  • Imperial College Research Data Store (RDS): Each user is allocated 1 TB of storage. Funded research projects can be allocated 2 TB for free. Further storage can be costed.

Each of these options operates with redundancy to reduce the risk of data loss. However, except for the RDS, the data is not automatically backed-up.

We strongly advise against the use of USB disks or USB sticks as a primary storage device for data (except maybe as a personal backup), due to the much greater risk of data corruption or loss.


Metadata is information used to describe data. When generating research data, please give consideration as to how the data is best organised and documented to allow future users to be able to make effective use of the data.