Gathering research data

Many projects start with or include a data gathering component. The Research Support team can advise on tools and processes for this, and can help you think through other aspects of this part of the project, such as data compliance, copyright and licensing, and how to make sure the data is kept safe at all times. Some of the areas where we can help are listed below: please contact us for more details, or to arrange a free consultation to discuss your data gathering requirements.

Collecting data in the field

When you are collecting data away from your normal IT environment you may want to consider questions around encryption of recording devices and data, transferring data securely, and storing data on the move. We are happy to discuss your project with you and offer help on these and other questions.

Remote interviewing and recording

If you are looking to record interviews remotely, aspects to consider may include the choice of technology as well as how to securely store and transfer data. As the data you collect is likely to be considered personal data, you will also need to take data compliance into account. Please contact us if you want to know more, or discuss your specific project.

Online surveys

Our Survey Advice service aims to help researchers select the most appropriate survey tool for their needs, and to provide guidance on other issues that need to be considered, including ensuring that the collected data is safe and used in compliance with data protection legislation. We offer courses through the IT Learning Centre, covering tools and good practice and training on specific survey tools. Basic feedback on surveys can also be provided.

More information: Survey Advice service


Crowdsourcing is increasingly used in research contexts to create or enhance digital data. Inviting people outside a project or team to contribute to research can also be a powerful form of outreach and engagement. The Research Support team have experience of planning, setting up, and running crowdsourcing projects and are happy to offer advice, guidance and support. We can also help if you want to create digital archives of material contributed by the crowd (‘community collections’), if you are considering crowdfunding for your research, or are looking to run collaborative creation events.

More information: Crowdsourcing

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