Using Microsoft OneDrive and Teams for Research

Offered by UBC as part of its Microsoft Office 365 subscription, Microsoft OneDrive and Teams are tools available to UBC staff, faculty and students, to facilitate and support collaborative work and allow for safe information storage, sharing, and management. This page provides information about what researchers should consider when using these tools for research. 

Before reading this page 

It is recommended that researchers consult an information security professional when planning a research project that will collect, process, store, and/or share research information. This page covers high-level concepts about information security and may not include all information applicable to specific research projects. 

For assistance, please contact 

Microsoft Teams logo

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft (MS) Teams is a collaboration tool for groups to create content and share the information they need to work together. The tool is operated by Microsoft as part of their MS 365 suite. MS Teams enables users within the University to connect via instant messaging, video conferencing and online meetings while simultaneously working together on a document in real-time.

Researchers can use MS Teams to collaborate on research related documentation and store research information, as well as perform administrative tasks such as scheduling, developing protocols and planning.

Microsoft OneDrive logo

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft (MS) OneDrive is a file hosting and synchronization service operated by Microsoft, as part of their suite of MS 365 applications. MS OneDrive allows users to securely store, share and synchronize files and folders from anywhere at any time.

MS OneDrive was deployed as a storage solution for UBC Electronic Information, including research information.

Microsoft SharePoint logo

Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint is a cloud-based information management system that allows organizations to store, share and manage content across multiple platforms. SharePoint is the infrastructure that manages both OneDrive and Teams.

Considerations when using UBC OneDrive and Teams for research

UBC Information security iconInformation Security

Use of the UBC Microsoft Teams and OneDrive is subject to UBC Information Systems Policy (SC14) and associated standards. Users and data stewards are responsible for taking appropriate precautions to protect information stored in Teams and/or OneDrive. Research ethics applications must also include the details of data storage, both while data is being collected and after publication.

Want to learn more about UBC information security requirements?


UBC Information storage icon

Information Storage

While Microsoft Teams and/or OneDrive are generally suited to store research information of all classifications, it is important for data stewards to ensure the information is properly safeguarded based on its classification.




UBC Information Sharing iconInformation Sharing

Microsoft Teams and OneDrive allow information to be accessed and shared with external collaborators (non-UBC users). 




UBC Information processing iconInformation Processing

Microsoft Teams and OneDrive have limited functionality for information processing as their sync functionality may interfere with running processes. 



UBC Campus fountain photoPrivacy Impact Assessment

OneDrive and Teams had a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) completed for use by UBC staff, faculty, and students, and within the UBC environment. If you intend to use UBC Microsoft OneDrive and/or Teams outside the UBC environment (e.g. in a Health-Authority), please consult the information owner first to ensure all privacy and security requirements are met by these tools.

Note: The use of Microsoft OneDrive and Teams for research administrative tasks and information storage is not specifically mentioned in the current PIA, but is implied within the analysis conducted by UBC. For more information about the UBC PIA process, visit:



Additional Resources 

To learn more about UBC information privacy and security, visit:

UBC Privacy Matters

To learn more about UBC security requirements, visit:

Office of the Chief Information Officer

To learn more about UBC Microsoft Teams, visit:


To learn more about UBC Microsoft OneDrive, visit:

UBC OneDrive FAQ

Can’t find what you are looking for? 

Send us an email at to talk to one of our subject matter experts.  

Need technical support for OneDrive or Teams?

For technical questions regarding OneDrive or Teams, please contact the UBC IT Service desk.

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