Data services at the Social Science Library

SafePods and the SafePod Network

The SafePod Network (SPN) is a major new research innovation to provide and manage a network of standardised safe settings (SafePods) across the UK for data that requires secure access for research purposes. A SafePod provides the physical security and controls for a researcher to access such data and includes a door control access system, CCTV, wheelchair accessibility and a height adjustable desk with monitor.

All SafePods operate under the same policies and procedures and provide researchers, once accredited, with access to datasets from participating data centres and archives. This includes:

Booking the University of Oxford SafePod

The University of Oxford SafePod is in the Social Science Library and can be booked and used by researchers internal and external to the University. SafePod bookings must be made from the SPN website. Bookings cannot be made at the Social Science Library.

The University of Oxford SafePod is available 10am–4pm on weekdays, excluding periods when the Social Science Library is closed.

More information

For general enquiries about the SafePod Network, contact 01334 463901 or email

Data Area

To support social scientists and others who need to gather and handle data, the library offers a Data Area. This provides access to PCs with specialized and restricted-licence data software. Find out more about the available software:


The NVivo software is designed to organize, analyze and find insights in qualitative data. We currently have NVivo on our reader PCs. The software is installed on 5 SSL PCs. Access is available to all library readers with a Bodleian Libraries login.  

More information about NVivo is available on SOLO.

Guidance is available on the getting started section of the NVivo website. The IT Learning Centre offer a range of resources for NVivo and NVivo can be purchased for personal use through IT Services.

IBM SPSS Statistics

This data analysis software allows for the editing and analysis of all types of quantitative data, whether structured data or relational databases. It works with all common file formats and can be used for formulaic analysis or graphing data. More information is available on SOLO and on the IBM SPSS Statistics website. Guides are available in the SSL Data Area or you can consult the IBM SPSS Statistics Introductory Guide (PDF, 519 KB). IT Services offer IBM SPSS Statistics training as part of their course catalogue and IBM SPSS Statistics can be purchased for personal use through the University store.

The software is installed on 5 PCs. Access is restricted to current University members.