Commonly asked questions
I need a website / database for my research project – can you help?
If you are thinking of a website to support your project, or perhaps a website and database to share your research outcomes, but don’t know where to start when it comes to writing the funding bid, we can help!
Perhaps you’re not sure what’s possible? Or maybe you know what you want, but need to know more about what’s involved in getting it? Contact us and we can talk you through all the various options available.
We can cover everything from just securing some web space and an ed.ac.uk address for you to use yourself, right up to developing a website and database for you. We can even offer graphic design and other multi-media services if you need them.
As well as discussing your website and database requirements, we can talk you through other considerations such as ongoing support, maintenance and sustainability. Many funding councils look for explicit reassurances that web based resources are being delivered in a well-managed technical environment and with a commitment to ensuring they are available for a good number of years after any project might end.
Once you have a clearer idea of what you want and the various costs involved, we can also help you write up your requirements as part of your funding bid.
If you want to discuss a funding proposal with us, just contact us at Service Management through the IS Helpline:
Why do I have to pay for hosting for research activities?
Information Services is not funded centrally to support all research activities, the expectation is that each research project will pay for what is required on an as-needed basis.
With the introduction of full Economic Costing (fEC) a few years ago, research projects now have to quantify and bid for their full costs including the cost of a website or database to support the project. We can give you help when it comes to writing your funding bid to ensure that you take all the costs into consideration and have a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
You don’t list a particular technology I want to use. Can I have this?
In most cases the answer would unfortunately be no. By restricting the set of technologies that we support we can focus our efforts onto providing quality support and minimising the cost to you. We would always encourage you to come have a chat with us before embarking on any development to check that we can support what you want to achieve.
How do I get a domain name (url) for my website?
If you would like a domain name that reflects your College, School or org unit name, e.g. www.mysite.hss.ed.ac.uk, then this doesn’t require any approval from the University domain naming committee (your School or org unit may well have a view however). In these cases you can usually just request your preference and we will set it up as part of setting up your web hosting.
If you would like a ‘top level’ domain name, for example www.mysite.ed.ac.uk, then this has to go to the University domain naming committee for approval. The IS Helpline can forward your request on to them, but you will need to provide some information as to why you feel you need this top level domain name. The committee will use that to evaluate your request.
How do I get an .ac.uk domain name?
If you are working on a research project with colleagues from a range of institutions and you feel an .ac.uk name would be most appropriate, you may request one. The domain name has to be registered via JANET, and there are eligibility criteria that you need to bear in mind. You can check whether your proposal fits the eligibility criteria on the JANET website. If you think it does, you can then download and complete a request form.
Completed request forms should be sent to email@example.com. Once you have your domain name agreed, submit a hosting request via the online form to arrange the setup of your web space.
Can I have a non ed.ac.uk domain name?
Yes, you may. We are more than happy to help you host a non .ac.uk domain name, or even a .org, .net etc - as long as the site will be used to support University business.
For any non .ac.uk domain name, you will need to buy this yourself from an external domain registration company and make the arrangements to have this pointed at the University servers. We can give you the technical information you need to have the domain name pointed at the University servers, but there are too many domain name registration companies for us to recommend any particular one for you to use.
Can I have EASE on my website?
As long as your website is on one of the University hosting servers, then yes, you can. Please submit your request to Service Management (through the IS Helpline) with your domain name and we will set this up for you. Note that there is normally a three week turnaround time.
In your request, please state whether you would like us to enable blanket EASE authentication for your site, or if you wish to control access to some pages yourself using .htaccess files.
You can learn more about using EASE on your website on the EASE service pages.
link to more info about EASE
How can I arrange to have an external website hosted on University servers?
We can assist with the migration of a website from an external hosting provider onto our university servers, provided that the site relates to University teaching or research. Standard hosting charges apply to research sites. You may keep your existing web address, or we can supply you with a new one. We will advise on the best-fit solution and can set up the hosting space as required. We are also able to advise on - but note, not undertake - the following aspects of the migration:
1. Termination of the external hosting agreement.
2. Copying of files into the new space we provide.
3. Renewal of domain name (if non-.ed.ac.uk).