Research Data Depot makes moving video for psychology research easy

  • January 26, 2015
  • Science Highlights

Joel Sprunger, a Purdue doctoral student in clinical psychology, had a problem — a whole lot of video to move from Indianapolis to Purdue and to Georgia State University, where he and his collaborators on a research project are looking at the mechanisms behind alcohol and conflict in relationships.

“It was a major headache,” Sprunger says of the video transfer problem, which the researchers tackled, among other ways, by shipping around encrypted hard drives.

Then, Sprunger heard about the Research Data Depot. The storage service from ITaP Research Computing is available to any Purdue researcher in need of a reliable, secure high-capacity central solution for storing large, active research data sets at a competitive price and sharing them among on- and off-campus collaborators.

“I got really excited and I thought that this was an opportunity to solve our problem,” Sprunger says.

Once Purdue’s Social Sciences Institutional Review Board, which must sign off on research involving people, approved its use, the Research Data Depot proved to be an excellent solution for transferring the psychology researchers’ video. The Research Data Depot incorporates Globus for sharing access to and quickly moving data among research collaborators not only around campus but also around the country and planet. Globus also can encrypt data transfers.

The video from Sprunger’s research captures participants in the study at a satellite lab as they engage in an activity designed to probe the effects of alcohol on relationship conflict and violence. Purdue researchers code the audio, while their Georgia State colleagues code the video, for cognitive and affective expressions related to aggression.

“I couldn’t recommend the Research Data Depot enough for other social science researchers, or anyone who is collaborating with people at other institutions,” Sprunger says.

Researchers and campus units can purchase capacity in the Research Data Depot easily through the “Purchase” link atop the ITaP Research Computing website,, says Preston Smith, ITaP’s director of research services and support.

While ITaP has always offered research data storage for computational and archival purposes in connection with Purdue’s Community Cluster Program research supercomputers, the Research Data Depot is available to any Purdue research group or campus unit, whether they’re cluster users or not.

The system is configurable by faculty for use on a project or research group basis and in on-campus and off-campus collaborations through an easy-to-use Web interface for configuring space, setting access permissions, sharing, and more.

All data is protected from accidental deletion and mirrored at two sites on different ends of campus to ensure rapid access, reliability and recoverability to an extent not possible with research data storage resources maintained by individuals, labs or other campus units — be those departmental servers, stacks of hard drives on a lab bench, or a USB drive in somebody’s pocket.

For more information, visit or contact Preston Smith, or 49-49729.

Originally posted: January 26, 2015 4:02pm EST