HMDC Usage Policies

Our products and services are governed by the policies described in this section. Members of our user community must agree to abide by the relevant policies before making use of any HMDC-hosted service or application. In addition to our policies, users are also subject to any policies enforced by our parent organizations, which include the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Harvard University.

If you find that any of these policies imposes an intolerable constraint upon your work, please contact us. We will do our best to design a workflow that meets your needs while conforming to the necessities of security, manageability, and IT best practices.

Usage Policies

Our computing infrastructure is a shared resource, supporting concurrent access by many users. As a result, however, we must enforce some basic guidelines for behavior and interaction to provide each user with the optimal environment for individual or collaborative research. In addition, we are proud to publish the standards of conduct to which we hold ourselves. Read more about Usage Policies to find out what we expect from our users and ourselves.

While researchers in all fields might encounter issues concerning the privacy and security of the data with which they work, we in the social sciences particularly are prone to working with sensitive data. Several layers of policies come to bear upon anyone who works with potentially sensitive information using our systems. Read our Confidential Information Policy Summary and Computing Services Privacy Policy to learn how these policies might affect your work. Please contact us if you would like help working in a way that safeguards the security of your data.


Although we would like to grant access to our services to all, we must prioritize the needs of our core community so that the demands placed on our infrastructure do not outpace our ability to expand. At present, we offer accounts to all IQSS affiliates. Read about Accounts to learn about the different types of accounts we offer and determine your eligibility.

Back Up Policies

In addition to protecting the data on our systems from inappropriate access, we also follow industry best practices to safeguard against inadvertent or unforeseen data loss or corruption. A significant advantage of working in the Research Computing Environment offers is that most information in the RCE is backed up automatically by our infrastructure. Read more about Back Up Policies to learn how we keep your data safe.

Service Level Agreements

We specify in detail our provisions for each service provided by HMDC.  Please read the appropriate Service Level Agreement (SLA) for any HMDC service before you commence use.

Personal Information Policy

Our policy on the Publication and Use of Personal Information describes how we protect identifiable information about students, staff, and faculty.

Web Privacy Statement

Our web site privacy policy specifies our information gathering and disseminating practices for this web site.