ERDA guidance portal


ERDA – Electronic Research Data Archive – is a digital solution that lets researchers at AU store, archive, and share so-called open research data, both with your immediate colleagues and with your external collaborators. ERDA offers three definite advantages over other storage solutions:

  • ERDA is a free service tailored research data 
  • ERDA is hosted on-premise
  • ERDA is planned to validate external users through WAYF, which strengthens the access control

ERDA manual

You can download the entire ERDA manual as PDF here: link.

We regularly update the manual, so both comments and corrections are very welcome.

ERDA replication

As a standard, ERDA offers replication. Replication is a solid solution against system errors and ensures continuous access to files.

On ERDA's primary site snapshots are taken every 15. min. These snapshots are saved for 8 days. 

ERDA is copied to a secondary site (>14km distant from the primary site) once every 24 hours. On the secundary site a snapshot is taken once a day. These snapshots are saved for 30 days. 

On the basis of this setup, ERDA files can be recreated if more than 15 min. AND less than 30 days have lapsed since the error is discovered. In other words, as an ERDA user you have a window of between 15 min. and 30 days to discover and report an error to the system administration. 

While replication offers dafety from systemerrors, the setup can be vulnerable to user errors, because filechanges will overwrite the original files during replication. Therefore, ERDA will offer backup for purchase in the nearest future.


ERDA access

Sign up for AU employee

Sign up for external partner

2 Factor authentication

Courses and external collaboration via ERDA


Import Sharelink

Support, questions, and comments

If you have any comments on improving the user experience on ERDA, or if you have any questions about the system, we would very much like to hear from you. This is, of course, also the case if something in the system doesn't work as intended and described here. 

Including information about your operating system and browser in your query is a great help. If you're not certain what browser and system you're using, you can check it at either or Send us the ine below ”Your web browser is:” in the blue square at the top, or the line that starts with ”You’re using”. Screen shots are very helpful as well, because they let us see exactly what you're seeing. 

Contact us: 

Kindly, the team behind ERDA AU and AskOS


How much space do I have on ERDA?

We don't really limit space on ERDA storage. However, huge data sets, e.g. from high-energy physics or bioinformatics databases, are examples of data that isn't suitable for ERDA. Data sizes up to a few terabytes shouldn't be a problem. If you need to store more than this, is should be possible - just reach out to us via, and we can talk about it.

Are my ERDA data replicated and with backup?

All data on ERDA is automatically replicated across several disks using RAID technology. We also regularly take snapshots of local filesystems, and once a month we transfer the latest of these to a remote location as safety against natural catastrophes.

In spite of these layers of extra safety mechanisms we in place, we don't guarantee automatic and complete backup of ERDA user folders or Workgroup shares. For the largest datasets in these locations, it simply isn't practical. Only files that have been explicitly duplicated with the special Archive-function are guaranteed backup. These are backed up to a local disk, and then to remote tape for added safety. We aim to increase transfer frequency, and maybe adding live mirroring or a high-availability solution for part of storage.

How do I transfer entire folders to/from ERDA?

You can only up- and download single files to ERDA. If you want to upload entire fodlers, wrap them in a zip file or tar-file, and then upload and unpack the file via the right-click menu. 

You can also use pack on an ERDA folder, download the packed file, and unpack it locally.

Alternatively, you can use effective file/folder handling as we describe in the Guide. That way, you can access ERDA as a drive and use your normal Files programme to work with ERDA data as if it was on your own PC.

Can I share, exchange, and publish ERDA data e.g. with read-only access?

Yes. There are three different way of doing so, depending on how dynamic data are, and who you want to share with. 


Permanent read-only publication is easiest via Archives by marking data for public archival.


With dynamic data, you can use both read-only and write-only acces via Workgroup shares. As admin you can control shares to only allow read-only access. You can also share read-only files through Workgroup websites. Both ways are built into Workgroups. You can make websites with either public access or group access. Here, publication happens when project owners save data either to the public_base or private_base subfolders. You can find links to both folders and websites in your Workgroups page. 

Share Links

If you want to exchange data quickly and broadly, e.g. with people outside ERDA, we reccommend Share Links. You can create a share link from Files and pick the combination of read-only and write-only access the recipient should have.

From Share Link you can email an invitation with a direct link, or you can invite participants manually.

How are workgroups managed?

Scientific and techincal/admin personnel can create workgroups and automatically become owners of new groups. User control is solely the responsibility of the owner. The owner can add co-owners and members by entering their ID or emails on the Workgroup Management page. Users can also request to become co-owners or members on the Workgroups page. Here, owners can add the new member by following the emailed instructions. See Workgroups for further information.

Can I have a shared or separate account for my project?

No. Due to legal and safety demands, we do not allow shared or separate accounts. In cases of suspected or accused account misuse, we must be able to determine exactly who did what and when. This is not compatible with anonymous or shared accounts. See also the AU Information Security Policy.

A possible solution is to store data in a Workgroup shared folder. Here, data isn't tied to your private account, and you and your group can easily control access through the Project's admin page.

Finally, you can use Sharelinks to give access to subfolders: if, for instance, you need to automate data upload from lab machines without leaving your personal login vulnerable. See the Guide for more information.

Why are there a number of characters I can't use in file names?

There are a range of special charactares ERDA  rejects for file names, a.o."< > { | } * ? [ ]". These are known for causing problems, either because they are control characters, and can harm the storage systems, or because they disrupt web-use and -display. We continually evaluate the need for new characters, as long as they have no harmful impact on the  interface or system. If you would like a character approved, you are welcome to contact us, the team behind erda, on

Can I run MATLAB, Fiji/ImageJ, Java or similar on ERDA?

Yes and no. 

There are typically issues surrounding licences and tech that prevent us from integrating MATLAB and the like on ERDA. But you can use ERDA as a network drive and run any software you have on your PC on your ERDA data. With a fast connection this is a reasonable solution.

I forgot my password. Can you tell me or change it for me?

For safety reasons we don't store passwords in our systems, we only derive a one-way hash-value. This means we cannot tell you your password.

But we do permit that you change your password. Here is a brief guide.

As an AU employee or student you will typically log on to ERDA via the web interface. Since the interface is tied to the central user database, it uses your normal AU username and password. If you have forgotten your password or if it has expired you will therefore need to follow the normal procedure, or contact AU IT-Support to change it.

If you are an external user, you can use sign-up to extend access or change password. Fill out the form with your details, including the name and email of your AU contact. Under Comment, specify that you would like to change your password.

The other ERDA services, e.g. SFTP and WebDAVS, uses your own login information. You can change these through ERDA Setup.

Why am I getting the error ”No such user?”

If you're signed up to ERDA and have accessed the system, but still receive these kinds of errors, you have probably run into a problem that starts in the central user database.

From time to time, AU IT changes the primary email address for users in their database. This tends only to happen when the employment status undergoes significant changes. ERDA uses AU IT's login service, so if changes are made at this end, the system will no longer recognise your ID.

There is no need to panic: your ERDA account will remain intact, and we can ususally solve the problem by linking the account to your new ID. Contact us, the team behind ERDA, and we will help you:

Why am I getting "account disabled or expired" emails?

ERDA enforces automatic expiration on WebDAVS/SFTP access for all users. We do this to reduce the risk of inactive accounts being misused/hacked. We also enforce automatic account expiration on ERDA web-access. 

AU-users' accounts are automatically extended at web login, while external users must extend their access annually via the sign up form at ERDA's front page. Since I/O services are included in the expiration, access to WebDAVS and SFTP automatically expires with the account. If you try to log in via I/O services after your account has expired, you will receive an email warning of account expiration. 

This makes no great difference for external users, who have to renew their accounts every year anyway. AU-users who primarily use ERDA as a network drive or with the SFTP/WebDAVS-client will have to get used to actively extending their account.

You can either renew your account for an entire year via sign up on ERDA's front page, or for 30 days by logging in to ERDA online. 

AU-users who primarily use web-access will not have to do anything different. Likewise, those who use 2 factor authentication for access to ERDA can keep logging in through the web before using their I/O-service logins.

Can I have an ERDA account without an AU account?

Yes. As long as you need an ERDA account for a course, a workshop, or to collaborate with an AU employee. 

Use the menus at the top of ERDA's front page to pick between the sign-up and login methods. When the ERDA operators have received your request, and your AU contact has approved you as a Peer, your account will be created. You will receive a brief intro email with instructions on how to log in, either with your email and password or with your x509 user certificate.

Can I keep my ERDA account after my employment ends?

Yes, if you continue to collaborate with an AU employee. 

Our access control with user name and password, described in the Guide, is tied to the AU user database. Thus,  you can only use that if you have an active AU account.

However, we offer external users two alternative ways to access ERDA. One is username and password through our own, independent OpenID-login service. The other is our x509 user certificate for added security.

If you've already got an ERDA account you can log in without an AU account. Click one of the other menus at the top of the front page, click the sign up button, and fill out the form. Take care to fill out the form so your answers correspond exactly to your current account, and refer to your contact at AU. Feel free to ask us if in doubt.

What you can store in ERDA

ERDA must only be used to store and share research data that don't contain personal data or for other reasons require extra protection, e.g. due to IP or strategic concerns.

In other words, you MUST NOT store your research data in ERDA if any one of the following is true:

  • Your research contains GDPR data
  • Your reseach entails that AU handles confidential material from a third party
  • When you know for certain, that your research will be patented 
  • Your research is subject to export restrictions

If you can recognise one or several of these points, we recommend that you store your data in SIF, which is designed to handle sensitive research data. SIF is planned to launch at AU in the autumn of 2023.


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