Research Computing

Updated Spring 2021

The UMN research computing environment is moving toward a more centralized model than has previously existed and is going through some growing pains because of it. 

Note on BIG DATA:  As datasets in the field grow with larger sample sizes and more variables, so does the need for more computationally intensive resources at scale. Significantly for Psychology researchers, the Office of Vice President for Research is bringing together its resources - the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, UMN Informatics Institute, and USpatial to offer services under one umbrella:  UMN Research and Innovation Office (RIO) Research Computing.  

Other research computing support is more local Please feel free to contact Carla Bates who can help get you going in the right direction.  Below are listed current resources available for research computing.

Plan for De-identifying your Data (before you collect it)

Main questions regarding collecting, storing and analyzing your data to answer about your research data before you begin:

University Data Collection and Analysis

The following is a growing list of resources available to you as a UMN researcher in Psychology.

Recruiting subjects

  • Research Experiment Program
    Developed by the UMN Department of Psychology REP UMN students interested in taking part in lab-based research experiments, in-person or online, for extra credit and/or cash. 
  • Lexis-Nexis
    The department has a Lexis-Nexis account that researchers may use for researching human research participants.  Researchers need to be sponsored by a Psychology faculty member, have taken both DATA SECURITY TRAINING courses required by the Department and any HUMAN SUBJECT TRAINING required by the lab.  This documentation must be made available before a researcher is given access.  Faculty sponsors should contact Carla Bates at with the name of the researcher and the IRB number of the study the researcher is working on.

Survey tools

  • Qualtrics
    • approved for private, highly-restricted data; HIPAA compliant
    • UMN pays for university-wide site license 
    • supported by LATIS research team
  • Google Forms
    • is not supported for research
    • UMN pays for university-wide site license
    • good for internal, quick surveys of lab groups, peer groups


  • Redcap

Behavioral experiments

University Research Storage Resources

There are five resources for sharing files with others at the UMN.  Data management is crucial to becoming a successful researcher and understanding different file shares, what they are for and how to access them is key.  The five resources include

  • Google Drive, either a private drive that can be shared with specific people or an OIT research File Share that can have multiple users and is established for a group.  Google Drive is secure enough for FERPA but no private, highly-restricted research data.  Google Drive file shares can be accessed from anywhere via a web browser; Google Drive File Stream allows you to 'mount' the drive from your desktop so that you can work on files directly.  
    OIT Self-help Guide
  • OIT File shares for CIFS and SMB/Windows and Mac or Active Directory file shares are secured storage resources managed by OIT.  Directions for accessing AD file shares are described above.  AD is not appropriate for private, highly-restricted data.  AD file shares can be accessed on campus, from home via VPN, and through a remote desktop service such as a Windows Terminal Server.  AD is appropriate for data that you would use Windows or Mac applications to access.  Contact Carla Bates as the Research Computing Consult for the Department. 
    Read up on what is available.
  • OIT File shares for NFS/Linux NFS file shares are secured storage resources managed by OIT and LATIS.  Directions for accessing these NFS file shares are linked above. They are not appropriate for private, highly-restricted data.  The file shares can be accessed on campus, from home via VPN, and through a remote desktop service such as a Linux terminal server.  NFS file shares are appropriate for data used with Linux applications.  Most Psychology people access these file shares through Compute.CLA which is described in the UMN computing section.  Contact Carla Bates as the Research Computing Consult for the Department. 
    Read up on what is available.
  • MSI - the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute has its own separate file shares.  When using MSI you will need to store your research data on their file shares.  Your adviser or lab manager will explain how to access. 
    MSI Home Page
  • BOX - is a secure web-based service used for sharing private, highly restricted data.  Any data that can be used to identify a research subject belongs in BOX.  This is important to remember when working with REP or gathering data in the field.  Box can be accessed anywhere via web browser.  You can also mount files on Box using Box Drive but performance is not always the best. 
    Box Self-help Guide
    Guidelines for securing computers to work with sensitive data