Getting Started at VUMC Biostatistics (IT Information)

This topic is a collection of Information Technology and related subjects information that one needs to know to get started at Biostatistics.

How to Get Help

Each member of the IT team is available to answer questions and assist with problems as they arise. If you need assistance with computing or software, please send an email to An email sent to this address will go to all the IT Team members. The first team member with the skills and time to help will respond. Response is usually within one day. You are welcome to drop by our offices or phone one of the team members (see Facilities and Resources).

VUMC Information Technology - Of particular interest here is the Help&Support tab; there's a link at the bottom "New to VUMC?" that has some useful links.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Facilities and Resources

The Facilities and Resources topic provides an overview of the physical and research environment in the department. There are sections on the computing tools provided, the software being used, the IT team competencies, etc.

The department's web site is a wiki. A wiki is "a page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language". The particular type of wiki that we use is called "Foswiki". Foswiki is described as a "free and open source enterprise collaboration platform". We use our wiki as the tool for the development and maintenance of virtually all content on the department's web site. There is a comprehensive user's guide and other information on the Welcome to the System Web page. We recommend that you read it.

Dbconnect is a department database. It is used to track personnel info, projects, make book/supply requests, etc.

Notes and FAQ

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) topic for notes on a wide range of how-to's and configuration information. Here you will find specific information about configuring email clients, setting up printer access on your laptops, wifi configuration, and many other topics.

Wireless Network

Data Security

Certain kinds of information should be kept private. It is the responsibility of those of us who deal with this information to understand which items should be protected and the tools we can use to do so. See Protecting Your Data for an overview of what data should be protected and the tools and policies related to that.

See This is the VUMC Enterprise Cybersecurity home page.

For more helpful advice, see Practice safe Web browsing to avoid ransomware. Also Tips to protect yourself from phishing.

Notes on Data Protection from a European perspective

Network attached storage

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Vanderbilt has available an SSL VPN solution to help meet the remote access needs of VUMC faculty and staff. See for details.

Email and Calendaring

The VUMC institutional email system uses Microsoft Exchange. Information about VUMC email is at

Outlook Web App (OWA) - Web browser access to VUMC email

We have a number of email distribution lists that are used to conveniently send email to groups of people. See Email lists for these lists. You will have to log on to the wiki to see the list of lists.

IT Purchasing

“dbconnect” is an internal tool used for purchase requests: and click on the “Purchasing” link. dbconnect can be used to request the purchase of books, office supplies, computer accessories, etc.

Please contact Dale Plummer for help when ordering computing hardware and software. Approval is required for big IT purchases where "big" is defined on a case by case basis. Typically, funds must be available for purchases other than the general kit of hardware and software provided by the department to each faculty and staff member.

There is software available for Windows and Macintosh computers available at a discount for VUMC users. The online Vanderbilt University Medical Center - Software Store is the source for these items. Dale can help with ordering if needed.

Vanderbilt Information Technology has a Getting Started: Get up and running at Vanderbilt page that has some helpful information.
Topic revision: r24 - 17 Jun 2021, DalePlummer

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