Secure Data Onboarding


All SESP community members must follow the SESP research data stewardship guidelines.

SESP Faculty and Staff Resources :: Research Data Stewardship Guidelines (

For most projects, the defined data repository for a research project will be a data share on the Northwestern Research Data Storage Service.

Often at the initiation or conclusion of a project, there is a requirement to enable the secure onboarding or off-boarding of research data.  Most often this involves collaboration with individuals who are not part of Northwestern.

To securely receive or share research data with external parties, SESP Technology recommends the use of a Microsoft OneDrive folder as a temporary data onboarding or off-boarding solution.

Instructions for utilizing this recommendation are below.

OneDrive can be accessed by logging in to with a Northwestern NetID.

A member of the research team should create a new folder in their Northwestern OneDrive account.

Then click the three stacked dots to the right of the new folder and select Share.

Ensure the link is set to “People you specify can edit”

Enter the email address of the external collaborator.

The external collaborator will then receive an email informing them of their being granted access to the folder in OneDrive.

When they click the Open link they will be prompted to request a verification code be sent to their email.

Once they successfully provide the verification code they will be granted access to the shared OneDrive folder.

The external collaborator will now have the ability to either securely upload data files or download data files from this OneDrive folder.

When onboarding data, once the external collaborator has successfully uploaded the data, a research team member should then securely transfer the data files to the defined storage depository for the project and finally delete the OneDrive folder.

When off-boarding data, once the external collaborator has acknowledged the receipt of the data, a research team member should delete the OneDrive Folder.

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Article ID: 1974
Tue 10/11/22 4:20 PM
Tue 2/14/23 2:16 PM

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This page provides information regarding research and other software related resources available to SESP community members.