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Terms of use

  1. Purpose & scope

    1. King’s College London ("the university") hosts the Research Computing Infrastructure ("the system") and provides an associated research computing service ("the service") for academic purposes, to support research, learning, and teaching. The service must be used responsibly, in accordance with the law and applicable university and NHS/NIHR policies in ways that do not bring the university or the BRCs into disrepute. The terms of use set out here stipulate the practices and constraints that apply when accessing and using the system.
    2. These terms applies to:
      • students, researchers, academics, affiliates or staff who access and/or make use of the system.
      • all forms of computing services administered or supported by the service, including IT services provided under contract.
      • the use of the system’s hardware, software, network storage, data and resources.
      • all information held by the service regardless of the format in which it is held
    3. This document provides specific terms and conditions for use of the research computing infrastructure and service. There are other related policies, regulations, and specific subsidiary procedures covering a range of IT user- and research-oriented activities, which are aligned with this document, and that must also be adhered to (see Implied and related policies, below).
    4. This document, hosted at, represents the definitive and current effective version, superceding any previous versions.
  2. Fair use

    Usage of the system is guided by the principle of fair use. Beyond the division of resources by, e.g., hardware partitions on the HPC scheduler, which have restricted access, overall use of system resources is monitored and engineered to ensure that all users have a fair chance to access compute time and other resources, and that, where contention arises, no one user or group unfairly dominates usage.

    We reserve the right to adjust priorities, enforce limits, or otherwise control resources in order to meet this goal. Any attempt to circumvent such measures, e.g. bypassing the HPC scheduler, is in violation of this policy.

    1. Storage quotas

      Available storage on CREATE is subject to quota limits, designed to provide fair access to the overall capacity for all users.

      We reserve the right to monitor quota usage and adjust as appropriate to meet demand. Requests for increased limits will be subject to available capacity and resource contention.

  3. Cost of use


    As currently funded, CREATE is free at the point of use to all users.

    Costs are calculated using the transparent approach to costing (TRAC) methodology, based on a ‘full economic costing’ of the direct costs incurred in purchasing and running the system. Some projects have obtained grants to procure private resources that already have the costs built-in.

    If you wish to build this costing information into, e.g. research grant applications that you are writing, please see the details in costing grants.

  4. Data storage

    1. Research data

      CREATE is designed as a research computing service. Any data stored on the system should be for the purposes of active research and teaching only; the system should not be used to store, e.g., backups of data from users’ own machines or other external systems.


      When a project finishes, and the data is no longer actively processed or required on the system, it should be deleted, moved, or otherwise archived externally.

    2. Information governance and sensitive data

      Any data stored on the system must be compliant with any additional implied or related policies.

    3. Responsibility and ownership of data

      Ownership of, and responsibility for, data stored on the system lies primarily with the account under which the data is stored. In the case of students or collaborators, ultimate ownership and responsibilty lies with the authorizing user who initially requested the account, i.e. normally the supervising or collaborating member of King’s staff.

      When a student or collaborator account is closed (i.e. the person has left King’s), any data stored under that account will, in consultation with the ultimate owner, be moved, archived, deleted or otherwise removed, as appropriate.

      We reserve the right to perform routine maintenance of dormant or closed accounts that otherwise escape this procedure.

    4. Backup and disaster recovery


      There is no backup provision for user data stored on the system.

      Whilst the system has some resiliency to hardware failure, in the event of, e.g. catastrophic and total system failure, there is no provision for any data stored on the system to be recovered.

      It is the responsibility of users to ensure any critical data is appropriately backed up.

  5. Account management

    The system defers authentication of accounts to the general KCL authentication system; responsibility for, e.g. passwords or King’s account status, lies with the user and King’s IT.


    Please visit the King’s IT site for issues with management of your King’s account itself, such as resetting your password.

    1. Dormant accounts

      In order to maintain the performance and security of the system, we reserve the right to conduct periodic reviews of account activity.

      In the event of an account being dormant (as determined by, e.g. login times, data access, compute resource usage, etc), we will disable the account. After a grace period, any in consultation with either the user themselves, or, in the case of students or collaborators, the King's member of staff responsible for that user, any data associated with the account will be removed.

  6. Service level definition

    The system is located in the JISC shared data centre, which is a secure, off-site environment, operated and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The provider defines target a service level availability (SLA) of:

    • 100% for power and cooling delivery;
    • 99.7% for network systems.

    The service is delivered under the umbrella of the Research Solutions division of the IT Directorate at King’s College London. Staff operating and supporting the service are drawn from e-Reserach at King’s and the BRCs, and frequently have additional roles at the university or their respective organisation beyond CREATE.


    Direct support for the service is only offered during normal business hours (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday). Note that maintenance windows may need to be scheduled within these hours.

  7. Acknowledging use of the system


    Where communicated output from research or teaching such as academic publications, conference papers, etc., is derived from use of resources on the system, users must acknowledge CREATE in their output.

    For how to acknowledge use of the system in your research, please see the Acknowledging page.

  8. By accessing and/or making use of the system, it is implied that users also agree to or abide by the following related policies, procedures, and regulations which apply either at the university, the BRCs, or involved third parties:

    Other policies or regulations which apply to the service’s necessary use of personal data in operating the system and providing the service include:

  9. Definitions

    We : the CREATE Operations Team, who provide systems administration and engineering support for the system

    You : researchers and other end-users of the system

    CREATE : the computer system(s), services, and/or applications comprising the Research Computing Infrastructure at King’s

    KCL or King’s : King’s College London, the university

    NIHR : National Institute for Health Research, the nation’s largest funder of health and care research, including the Biomedical Research Centres

    BRC : Biomedical Research Centre, NIHR centres which operate as collaborations between universities and NHS organisations

    SLaM : South London and Maudsley, referring to either the NHS Foundation Trust or the BRC (also known as the Maudsley BRC)

    GSTT : Guy’s and St Thomas′, referring to either the NHS Foundation Trust or the BRC

    KCH : King’s College Hospital, an NHS Foundation Trust

    KHP : King's Health Partners, an Academic Health Sciences Centre, partnering King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital, and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts

Date of effect

CREATE platform terms of use, version 1. This document was last updated: January 2022