ERDA guidance portal

ERDA (Electronic Research Data Archive) is AU's digital solution for storing and sharing open research data. ERDA offers the following advantages over other storage solutions:

  • ERDA is a free service tailored to research data 
  • ERDA is hosted on-premise
  • ERDA uses strong user validation
  • ERDA mounting is supported by a dedicated tool from AU IT

ERDA replication

ERDA employs replication by default, which protects against system errors and ensures continuous access to files. ERDA replication basically functions like this:

  • Snapshots are taken on ERDA's primary site every 15. mins. These snapshots are saved for 8 days. 
  • ERDA is copied to a secondary site (>14km distant from the primary site) once every 24 hours.
  • Snapshots are taken on the secondary site once a day. These snapshots are saved for 30 days.

ERDA files can therefore be recreated if more than 15 mins. AND less than 30 days have lapsed since the error was discovered.

NB the system administration will not be able to recreate single files based on replication.


Download the ERDA manual here: link.

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

ERDA sign-up

ERDA sign-up for AU employee

ERDA sign-up for external partner

2-factor authentication

Collaboration via ERDA


Import Sharelink

Support, questions, and comments

If you encounter system errors or functions in ERDA that do not operate as decribed, we would very much like to hear from you.

To ensure that our support is as effective as possible, please include information about your operating system and browser in your query. You can check which operating system and browser you're using at or Screen shots are very useful in this context too, because they let us see exactly what you're seeing.

Contact us via


How much space do I have on ERDA?

SIF doesn't enforce quotas on space per say. If you need to store several terabytes of research data, we recommend that you contact the SIF systems administration via for help finding a suitable solution.

Are my ERDA research data replicated and backed up?

All data on SIF are automatically replicated across several disks using RAID technology. This includes both research data uploadet by you, the user, data pertaining to you, the user, and data concerning ERDA's system functionality. Moreover, we regularly take snapshots of local filesystems, and transfer the last of these to a remote location monthly, as assurance against natural catastrophes.

ERDA thereby has extra safety mechanisms in place to protect against system errors. However, the systems administration will not be able to recreate individual files based on replication. For this reason, we are working on implementing a user-paid backup solution.

How do I transfer entire folders to and from ERDA?

It is only possible to up- and download single files to ERDA. To upload entire folders, wrap them in a zip file or tar-file, upload it, and unpack it via the right-click menu. 

To download an entire folder from ERDA, use pack on the folder, download the packed file, and unpack it on your machine.

Alternatively, use effective access to ERDA to access the system as a drive. This way, you can work with your ERDA research data just like other files on your machine.

Can I share and publish ERDA research data?

Yes. There are three different way of sharing research data in ERDA.

  • Permanent, read-only publication is easiest via Frozen archives
  • Dynamic research data can be shared with read-only and/or write-only acces via Workgroup shares
  • To share research data quickly and broadly, e.g. outside ERDA, we reccommend Share Links.

How are workgroups managed?

AU-employees can create workgroups. They thereby become owner of the workgroup and responsible for user management. 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 an exact course of events. This is not compatible with anonymous or shared accounts. See also the AU Information Security Policy for demands regarding identity and traceability.

If you need to work with your files in shared folders, Workgroups offer the functionality. Sharelinks can be used nto give access to subfolders e.g. if you need to automate data upload from lab machines.

Why are there characters I cannot use in file names?

There are a number of special characters ERDA will reject in file names, e.g. "< > { | } * ? [ ]". They are known to cause trouble, either because they are control characters, with a potentially harmful effect on the storage systems, or because they disturb web-use -display. We continually evaluate the need to permit further special characters, if they do no harm either to the user interface or the underlying systems. You are welcome to contact us, if there is a character you would like approved.

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

Due to issues surrounding licences and techincal obstructions, we cannot integrate MATLAB and similar on ERDA.

However, via effective access to ERDA you can use the system as a drive, and run your machine's software on your ERDA research data.

I forgot my password, can I access it or change it?

Due to security considerations, we do not store passwords in our systems, only a one-way derived hash-value. Therefore, we cannot retrieve forgotten passwords.

We do, however, permit that you change your password. Since the ERDA access portal is tied to the central user database, the system uses your normal AU username and password. Therefore, if you have forgotten your password or if it has expired, you should follow the normal procedure or contact AU IT-Support for help.

The other ERDA services - for instance SFTP and WebDAVS - uses login details you yourself define, and that you can change on the ERDA Setup page.

Why does web login return the error ”No such user?”

If you're accessed ERDA and encounter this error, the probably cause is a change to your email in the central user database. This typically happens when the employment status undergoes significant changes. 

Since ERDA verifies AU-users via the central database, changes made here will mean that the system no longer recognises your ID. Don't panic: your ERDA account remains intact, and we can ususally solve the problem by linking the account to your new ID. Contact us for help via

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

ERDA enforces automatic account expiration on ERDA web-access and expiration on WebDAVS and SFTP access for all users. This is a necessary precaution to reduce the risk of accounts being misused or hacked. Login attempts after account expiration will result in an email warning of account expiration.

As an AU-user, you account is extended automatically at web login

  • You can renew your account for an entire year by signing up on ERDA's front page.
  • You can renew your account for 30 days by logging in to ERDA online.

As an external user, you must apply to extend your access annually via the sign up form at ERDA's front page.

Can I have an ERDA account without an AU account?

Yes, if the account is to be used for a course, a workshop, or to collaborate with an AU employee.

Request access via the sign up form on ERDA's front page. Once ERDA system administration has received the request, and your AU contact has approved you, your account will be created. You will then receive a brief intro email with instructions on how to log in.

Can I keep my ERDA account after my employment ends?

Yes, if you continue to collaborate with an AU employee. ERDA offers external partners two alternative ways to access the system.

  • With username and password via ERDA's OpenID-login service.
  • With x509 user certificate, for added security.

If you have an existing ERDA account, you can switch to log in without an AU account. Fill in the signup form for external users, taking care that your info correspond exactly to your current account. Remember to refer to your contact at AU.

ERDA research data

ERDA must only be used for research data that can be open.

In other words, you MUST NOT store your research data in ERDA if any of the following apply to them:

  • They contain personal data
  • When you know for certain that your research results will be patented (IP-data)
  • They contain confidential information or IP-covered material from a third party
  • They are of strategic importance, e.g. because sharing can pose a threat (URIS-data)
  • They form part of research subject to export control
  • They must, for any other reason, be protected from unauthorised access

If one or more of these points apply to your research, we recommend that you store your data in SIF in stead of ERDA. SIF is currently undergoing silent roll-out at AU.


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