On this page:


The Restricted Access Data Remote Server (RADaRS) at Indiana University is a secure research hub that allows IU researchers to access and analyze datasets from a variety of providers that require that their data be used only within highly secure environments. RADARS is intended for use by researchers in all areas of social sciences (and beyond).

RADaRS data custodians upload secure datasets to project folders and manage access control permissions. Individual researchers and collaborative project teams can access RADaRS remotely from their personal workstations to work with datasets. Statistical packages and productivity software, including SAS, SPSS, Stata, R, and Microsoft 365, are installed on the server.

Only data custodians can import or export data. Researchers are prohibited from getting data on or off the RADaRS server without the cooperation of a data custodian. Research results are exported from RADaRS only after review by data custodians, who must ensure compliance with terms set forth by data providers in their data use agreements.

RADaRS is maintained by UITS Research Technologies and the IU Social Science Research Commons (SSRC.) For more, see SSRC RADaRS.

System information

Server security

RADaRS runs on a virtual server in the UITS Intelligent Infrastructure (II) environment, which is securely housed in a hardened UITS Data Center. The RADaRS virtual server runs Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition (64-bit), with Microsoft Forefront Client Security providing antivirus, antispyware, and antimalware protection. A local software firewall and the IU Data Center firewall provide additional security. RADaRS server software and client applications are updated from secure vendor sources on a regular monthly basis and whenever critical updates are released by vendors or required by the University Information Security Office (UISO).

Researchers can connect to the RADaRS server via Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) only. To do this, they first must establish a connection to IU's SSL VPN. While connected to RADaRS, researchers cannot copy and paste from the server, map network drives to other servers, print to any printers, or access the internet via HTTP or any other protocol.

Only data custodians are permitted to transfer data on or off the RADaRS server. Only data custodians have the permissions needed to upload secure datasets received from data providers and release research output (for example, tables for research papers) to researchers.

Data custodians use access control lists (ACLs) to secure project folder access to authorized project members only. Researchers can request personal folders to which only they have access for storing temporary files or additional research materials.

When research is complete, data custodians will export research output and, upon ensuring that it contains no sensitive data, deliver the output to the researcher. Data custodians also securely purge files and sensitive data from project folders at the end of each project.

Server backups

For disaster recovery purposes, the RADaRS server is backed up daily (this portion of the backup contains no sensitive data). Project and individual researcher folders also are backed up daily; these folders are stored off site in an encrypted tape archive. Folders may be excluded from backups on a per-project basis, as needed; when applicable, this information should be included in the project documentation, and in the RADaRS User Agreement and RADaRS Service Owner Agreement for the project.

Access RADaRS

Before obtaining restricted-use data and beginning research on RADaRS, you also will need to obtain documentation from the IU Institutional Review Board (IRB) and, if required, institutional signatures for your data use agreement. You will need to provide this documentation to the data custodian before beginning your RADaRS project. Additional clearance (for example, human subjects approval) and signed data use agreements also may be required.

To request an account on the RADaRS server, see SSRC RADaRS.

Once your account is set up, to access RADaRS:

  1. Connect to the IU Groups SSL VPN; for instructions, see Connect to IU's SSL VPN using Ivanti Secure Access (formerly Pulse Secure) in Windows or macOS.
  2. Use a remote desktop application to connect to iu-hnet-tsx01.ads.iu.edu.

    On a Windows computer, use the native Remote Desktop Connection application (usually available in the Windows Accessories folder). On a macOS computer, you will need to download and install the latest version of the Microsoft Remote Desktop app from the Mac App Store.

Get help

For more on RADaRS, see SSRC RADaRS.

If you have a general question about the RADaRS service, contact the SSRC.

If you have questions or need help using the RADaRS service, contact the UITS Research Data Services team.

If you have questions about securing HIPAA-regulated research data at IU, email securemyresearch@iu.edu. SecureMyResearch provides self-service resources and one-on-one consulting to help IU researchers, faculty, and staff meet cybersecurity and compliance requirements for processing, storing, and sharing regulated and unregulated research data; for more, see About SecureMyResearch. To learn more about properly ensuring the safe handling of PHI on UITS systems, see the UITS IT Training video Securing HIPAA Workflows on UITS Systems. To learn about division of responsibilities for securing PHI, see Shared responsibility model for securing PHI on UITS systems.

This is document apyq in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2023-08-16 13:09:54.