Hardware

If the PC on your desk is not enough to carry out your research, Information Management can play a role in getting the right piece of equipment and embedding it it the Faculty IT infrastructure. We can advise on anything from extra external storage to your own server.

Extra devices

Your desktop PC is only suitable for office applications. You can use it to write articles and the like, access e-mail and store data on network drives. For some, that may be enough, but for many researchers it is not. If you do fieldwork and have no access to network storage, or simply accumulate too much data, you may need an external hard drive to store your data. Some research activities also require a laptop, and we even come across computational research that is so demanding on PC capacity that an extra powerful computer is needed to carry it out. These are just some examples to indicate what we can help you with. If you need advice on what to buy, on how to get it to work with your desktop PC, or on how to arrange support, just contact us. We can mediate between you and the ISSC.

Remember that the university is required by law to buy equipment from certain suppliers. If you need a laptop and you buy it through us, there is an option to arrange ISSC-support. If you go to the computer store to buy it yourself there is no way in which ISSC will accept it in a support programme.

You can order laptops and other hardware from ISSC directly using the appropriate forms. However, we would advise you to always talk to us first. You never know which requirements we may think of that may tip the balance in favour of a model you would not have chosen yourself.

Please also remember that the budget of your research project should mention hardware! There is little chance your institute will buy expensive research equipment for you.

Finally, we gladly go beyond IT equipment when you need advice. In the past, we have helped researchers buy video cameras, photo cameras, studio equipment and the like.


Server capacity

In more and more research projects we find paragraphs mentioning a database as one of the deliverables. Mostly, an online database is what is meant. Apart from advice on how to design and build it you will need a platform to host it on and allow your peers to access it.

For LUCL researchers, a free option is available if you can work with MySQL-PhP databases, which is what we would advise you to do in any case. Contact Rob Goedemans to set up a folder and accounts for you in the LUCL hosting package. LUCL guarantees prolonged database service in the future.

For researchers in other institutes, we need to find a suitable hosting package. It is advisable not to arrange that yourself. Arranging this through your institute, project, or a partner university will increase the chance that your data will remain accessible in the future. Information Management can help you look for the best solution.


Websites

If you wish to publish a website for your research project or programme, contact the "webredactie" of the communications department. They will offer you three "flavours" of web hosting.

1. If you can make do with a website that looks exactly like the website of your institute, you can simply give the specifics to the web editors and they will create an empty site for you that you can fill, after a 1-hour course in using the Content Management System. The advantage of this option is that you will not have to build a website yourself, that it is free and that support is arranged through the webredactie.

2. Should you need a site that deviates from the general university design, you may consider the alternate server that is in use by the webredactie. This server ONLY accepts static HTML websites. No scripting languages besides javascript are allowed. If you have such a site, you will get a hum2.leidenuniv.nl address and access via FTP to upload and maintain it. The advantage of this option is that it is also free, but the drawback is that you will have to build your own site (without CMS tools).

3. If your site uses interactive fucntions that depend on scripting languages like PhP, you will want to look away from the solutions offered by the ISSC. LUCL members can fall back on the server solution offered by their institute. Others can buy a hosting package through mediation of the Communications dept. The simplest package will only cost you about €15 a year.

Your own server

For some purposes, the hosting options mentioned above are simply inadequate. If your research requires you to frequently alter server configurations, install your own server-side software etc. you will need to arrange your own server. Just buying the hardware and installing server software on it is not an option, since you will not be allowed on the university network with such a server. Maintaining your own dedicated piece of hardware somewhere else is quite expensive. Fortunately things like "virtual servers" exist. Many internet providers can set up a service for you that allows you to do all the thing you'd want to do with your onw server without actually having one. On average this service costs €80 per year. Information Management can advise and arrange this for you.

Scanners

For regular scanning purposes, you can use the multifunctionals. However, we can imagine that these are not suitable for your needs. They can, for instance, only produce black-and-white scans. Moreover, they are often in use for copying and printing, which means that you cannot just take a pile of documents you need to scan and claim the device for an hour or more.

Therefore we have started an experiment with two "scan islands". On xxx and xxx you will find two regular desktop PCs that you can log on to using your normal password. Full fledged A3 colour scanners are attached to these PCs. You can save your scans on a network drive, orr hook up an external HD to save them. We have provided some extra software to help you process the scans (photoshop XXX).


Last Modified: 23-07-2015