Need help in choosing the right software to do your research? Or do you know what you want, but run into a wall getting it? Contact us and we will try to arrange it for you.

Non-standard software

Your desktop PC (or Mac) comes with several software packages pre-installed. If something is not there, that does not mean you cannot get it easily. Please check the list of available software before you do anything else. If a package is on the list, you can simply install it through "run advertised programs" (Windows) or "MacAppstore".

If you need functionality but do not know which software package offers it, or do not know whether a package on the list is a viable alternative to the software you already selected, contact Information Management. The ICT experts will be happy to help you select the software you need.

Should you indeed need something that is not on the list of programmes that you can install yourself, you might need a so-called semi-managed PC. This simply means that you have more user rights on your computer and can install software yourself. A common complaint is that it is hard to get such a semi-managed computer. This is not true. If you can make a case for the software you want you should get it. The faculty IT experts can help you make that case. Should the going get tough after all, we will mediate. Please remember that you, or the institute, will have to pay for the software.

In case the software of your choice cannot be installed on a semi-managed computer, we will look for alternatives.

Expanding your mailbox

If you often receive mails with big attachments, or simply get a huge number of mails every day, your mailbox will soon become too small. It is easy to get the quota increased. You standard mailbox uses 1 GB of disk space (while the archive can be as large as 10 GB). You can double the disk quota of your mailbox by filling out this form (the same form has an option to increase the archive by 5 GB).

Network storage

On your so-called P-drive, you can store 50GB of data. Should this not be enough for your purposes, you can extend the disk quota of your P-drive. Filling out the ISSC extension request form will get you another 25 or 50 GB. You may be able to successfully claim even more if you provide additional info. Information Management will review your request, so it is wise in these cases to first contact them.

If you need to store data to which other members in your research team (also employed by Leiden University) need access, you can request a Workgroup Share. Simply provide the names of the people who need access and the network drive will be created for you, accessible through J:/Workgroups/projectname the next time you log on after you received the notification e-mail. If you plan to store large amounts of data on your Workgroup drive, please contact Information Management. There may be costs involved in that case.

Alternatively, if you know you will produce TeraBytes of data, you could consider Bulk Storage. There will definitely be costs involved in that case. Please consult the ISSC service catalogue for up-to-date pricing. See also below for alternatives.

For the moment, the standard network storage offered by the ISSC or extra hardware are the only local means of storing your data offered by the university.

Storage elsewhere

Of course, you can store (part of) your data in the cloud. And you do not have to rely on NSA-controlled Drop Box to do so. Note that SURF offers a good alternative with SURFDrive, which can be used free of charge by everyone in the university. Using SURFDrive you can store an additional 100GB of data in the cloud and grant access to everyone whom you think should be able to download it.

Finally, since ISSC charges €1 per GB per year, storage can become quite costly if you generate more than 200GB of data in your project. We are currently investigating whether cheap, easily accessible mass storage on our own servers can be offered by the university as a means to secure proper Data Management. If this becomes available we will communicate it through the institutes. In the meantime you may want to check out private parties for competitive storage prices (€100 TB/year is doable). 


A specific form of storage is archiving, usually at the end of your project. If this is not already arranged in your project and you have questions about how to do this, contact Data Librarian Fieke Schoots.

VRE's and teamsites

A collaboration website is often a most useful tool for a research team. The site is home to central documentation, information, a team calendar etc. In other words, it forms the online meeting place for your research team. On the other hand it can be an information portal for peers.

The University Library offers such platforms in the shape op Virtual Research Environments (VRE's). Contact the librarian for your subject (in this list) to request a VRE. You can also contact Information Management to advise and mediate.

If you cannot get a VRE for whatever reason, you can request a "teamsite" from the ISSC. A teamsite can basically function in the same way as a VRE, only you need to build it in SharePoint yourself. This can be tricky, and Information Management cannot help you out on this front.

Customise it!

Should you need (web-based) tooling that does not exist, at least not in the way you want it, we can help too. If you have the buget, we can start thinking about your own software design. Information Management can help you make a Functional Design, which can then be discussed with one or more programmers. Depending on the specifics, programming could take place within the walls of the university, but it is more likely that we need to hire an external programmer.

If there is anything else you need with respect to software that is not mentioned on this page, please feel free to contact us.

Last Modified: 23-07-2015