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SafePod: Using the SafePod

Guidance on using the University of Bath's SafePod

The SafePod Network

The SafePod Network logoThe SafePod Network provides a major advance to the way that sensitive datasets can be securely accessed for research purposes across the UK.

The SafePod Network is the first service in the world to provide and manage a network of standardised safe settings, called SafePods. All SafePods operate under the same policies and procedures and provide accredited researchers with access to their project datasets from Data Centres that join the SafePod Network.

The SafePod Network is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and run by the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research as part of the Administrative Data Research (ADR) UK programme.

What is a SafePod?

A SafePod is a small standardised safe setting that provides the physical security and controls for a researcher to access sensitive datasets. No data are held in the SafePod. Access to the data is provided remotely via a secure computer terminal.

A SafePod is a small room that has many features, including a door control access system, CCTV, a researcher area for the analysis of datasets, wheelchair accessibility, and a height adjustable desk.

Unlike traditional safe settings, a major advantage of the SafePod Network is that researchers will have secure, local access to research datasets, without the need to travel potentially long distances to a dedicated safe setting provided by a data centre.

SafePods are primarily based at universities, with over 20 SafePod locations spread geographically across the UK.

Datasets accessible through the SafePod Network

The SafePod Network has access to the following data centres:

Additional data centres are expected to join the SafePod Network in the future.

Booking the SafePod

The University of Bath's SafePod is located on Level 1 of the Library. It is available from 10am to 4pm on weekdays, excluding public holidays and University closure days

Researchers must register with the SPN (which includes passing an online training questionnaire on the SPN User Agreement) before a SafePod can be booked and used to access project datasets. Further details about the researcher registration process are available. Where demand is high, priority of access will be given for research that is critical to society and the economy.

Access to our SafePod is coordinated by trained staff from the University of Bath Library.

In order to access a dataset within a SafePod, permission must have been granted by the managing data centre that holds the data. Applications for access can take time to prepare and obtain approval for. We therefore recommend that if you wish to use the SafePod to access a specific dataset, you start the application process to request access to the data as soon as possible.

Further information

For more information about the University of Bath's SafePod, please contact the Library's SafePod team at

For more information about the SafePod Network please visit the SafePod Network Website. For general enquiries please contact the SafePod Network on 01334 463901 or email

SafePod is a registered trademark of the University of St Andrews.


All publications resulting from the use of data accessed from the SafePod at the University of Bath should, at the very least, acknowledge the facility as a whole:

The authors gratefully acknowledge the SafePod at the University of Bath ( for providing access to [INSERT DATA CENTRE NAME E.G. OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS] datasets.

Additionally, the facility should be cited in the reference list using this DOI:

University of Bath, SafePod, DOI: 10.15125/q5vm-em64.