Active Research

In the phase of active research, various tools available at University of Basel may help organize your data. This page lists key (sometimes domain specific) data management services available to support your research.

Tools and solutions

REDcap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a web application offering a free, easy-to-use, and secure method for flexible yet robust data collection. Developed by the Vanderbilt University, it has a web interface that allows users to quickly build and manage online surveys and databases. It is designed to provide a secure environment so that research teams can collect and store sensitive information. University of Basel members who wish to setup a project in REDCap can contact sciCORE to get started.

EvaSys is suitable for the secure execution of large surveys and evaluations.

Video: Create surveys with EvaSys (German)
EvaSys-courses at University of Basel

LabKey is a general purpose web-based data management platform for quantitative data (labkey.com). It is an open-source software developed by a commercial company specialized in clinical data management. Despite being rooted in clinical data, the platform is generic enough to suit most natural (and other quantitative) sciences. LabKey provides an audit trail, a flexible role-based user management, a file manager, a configurable user interface, including a programmable wiki and is ideal if/when managing your research data with Excel becomes “too complicated”. Please contact sciCORE to get an access to the system.

secuTrial is a browser-based and GCP-compliant Clinical Data Management System for collecting patient data. It offers high flexibility with regard to study design and user roles and rights, and a variety of additional features typically used in clinical trials, such as complex visit plans, dedicated workflows for the management of (Serious) Adverse Events and for Clinical Monitoring, Randomisation, electronic signatures, and data consistency checks. Please contact the Department of Clinical Research to use secuTrial in your research project.

The Data and Service Center for the Humanities (DaSCH) is an national institution of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHSS) and the University of Basel (Digital Humanities Lab, DHLab) who maintains a repository for research data in the Humanities, especially in the field of qualitative data and visual media.
The primary goals of the DaSCH are:

  • Preservation of research data in the humanities and their long-term data curation.
  • Ensuring permanent access to research data in order to make it available for further research and thus facilitating the reuse of existing research data in future research.
  • Providing services for researchers to assist them with data life cycle management.
  • Encouraging the digital interconnection and interoperability of databases created in Switzerland or in other countries.
  • Collaboration and networking with other institutions on digital literacy.

The repository is based on the „Knowledge Organization and Annotation“ (Knora, knora.org) infrastructure, an open source repository framework developed by DaSCH, DHLab und PlaTec (University of Lausanne, platec.unil.ch/). The DaSCH repository follows the FAIR principles of open data and is a registered re3data.org site. It offers a comprehensive RESTful API, media filesaccess  according to the IIIF 2.0 API (see iiif.io) and access control if necessary. The staff of the DaSCH may provide several service to researchers of all faculties of the University of Basel. Please see dasch.swiss and dhlab.unibas.ch .

A significant number of research groups, predominantly at the Biozentrum, are using a wiki solution as a light-weight tool to keep electronic laboratory notebooks. This ELNwiki platform is based on the enterprise-level Confluence software and is operated by the Biozentrum Research IT group. Wiki systems provide substantial flexibility in the way data can be recorded. This allows researchers to easily make the transition from paper lab books to an electronic format. However, this flexibility also requires some up-front planning and decisions when a group’s ELN is first established. Biozentrum Research IT therefore also provides consulting and training, in particular during the early phase of ELNwiki adoption in a group.

Depending on the user needs, the university of Basel offers the appropriate infrastructure for document and file storage:

  • For daily research files and documents (e.g. office documents, small to mid-scale research data), ITS offers group shares
  • For special projects with large storage requirements (tens of TBs or more) sciCORE can provide high-performance storage.

Both ITS and sciCORE central storage units are backed up.

RStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for R. It includes a console, syntax-highlighting editor that supports direct code execution, as well as tools for plotting, history, debugging and workspace management. For users with a sciCORE account, RStudio can be accessed here.