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Sensitive data – where and how to archive

Kirsty16 August 2022

Guest post by James Houghton, Research Data Support Officer

It is always essential to protect the personal identity of participants or information that could jeopardise the safety of a building, an endangered species, or similar. Deleting data at the end of a project is often necessary to guarantee privacy and security. But this data is sometimes of immense value. The potential usefulness of data could be weighed against the likelihood of an accidental release and the risk of harm if an unintentional release did occur.

There are options for archiving data with access controls for researchers who feel strongly that their data should be preserved. Some repositories have built-in access controls that ensure sensitive data can only be accessed by specific persons who have undergone an application process. Only a few data repositories offer this feature and will still have a remit controlling what data they can accept. Here are some examples.

  • ReShare (UK Data Service) – This site is a social data research repository created to share data for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded projects but is open for submissions from other sources!
  • The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) – The EGA offers service for permanent archiving and sharing of personally identifiable clinical data generated for biomedical research projects or in the context of research-focused healthcare systems

The UK Data Service, which runs the ReShare archive, provides functional on-data access control and explains how to implement it.

If you are concerned about storing the data live, even with access controls, consider storing the raw data offline. The existence of the data can be advertised online by creating an entry in a repository that announces the data’s presence and explains how to access it. The repository record will also assign a DOI to cite the dataset properly. Making sure the offline information is stored securely can be challenging, however. There needs to be a specific process to ensure the data is secure and accessible on request.

Dealing with the long-term archiving of sensitive data is complicated. The UCL Research Data Management Team can assist with this. Get in touch if you need support!

UCL Open Science Conference 2022 – Day 2 Recordings

Kirsty11 April 2022

Thank you to everyone that attended the UCL Open Science conference last week. We had a great time and hope you did too. We have sent all of the left over questions to our speakers but we wanted to share the recordings right away! If you missed the day 1 recordings, they are already available.

UKRI Town Hall

Host: David Price
Panellists: Duncan Wingham, Rachel Bruce, Margot Finn, Jonathan Butterworth.

Open and the Global South

Host: James Houghton
Panellists: Katie Foxall, Wouter Schallier, Sally Rumsay, Ernesto Priego.

Don’t forget, you can get full details of all of the speakers in the programme.

UCL Open Science Conference 2022 – Day 1 Recordings

Kirsty11 April 2022

Thank you to everyone that attended the UCL Open Science conference last week. We had a great time and hope you did too. We have sent all of the left over questions to our speakers but we wanted to share the recordings right away!

Day 2 recordings are also available!

What does Open Science mean to me?

Host: Christiana McMahon
Panellists: James Hetherington, Aida Sanchez, Sasha Roseneil, Steven Gray.

Kickstart your research: Open Data and Code

Host: James Houghton
Panellists: Anastasis Georgoulas, Ralitsa Madsen, Oliver Duke-Williams

How does Citizen Science change us?

Host: Hannah Sender, Alex Albert, Saffron Woodcraft

Don’t forget, you can get full details of all of the speakers in the programme.

Office for Open Science & Scholarship Newsletter – Issue 5

Kirsty3 March 2022

Welcome to the fifth issue of the Open Science and Scholarship Newsletter!

This termly newsletter has updates across the 8 Pillars of Open Science, and contributions from colleagues across the university. If you would like to get involved, give feedback or write something for a future issue, please get in touch using the details at the end of the newsletter.

In this issue:

  • Editorial
  • Update from the Head of the Office for Open Science & Scholarship
  • Community voice – Creating a digital organism through Open Science
  • Special Feature – UCL Press announce the launch of a new translation initiative
  • Deep Dive – Highlights from the Blog
  • News and Events

Go to the newsletter on Sway, or view it below. If you use the version below, we recommend clicking the ‘full screen’ button to get the full experience!

When viewing a Sway, you can turn on Accessibility view. This view displays a high-contrast style for easier reading, disables any animations, and supports keyboard navigation for use with screen readers.

To turn on Accessibility view:

  • If you’re using a mouse or touchscreen, on the More options menu (shown as three dots on the Sway toolbar), choose Accessibility view.
  • If you’re using a screen reader, on the More options menu, when Accessibility view is selected, you hear “Displays this Sway in a high contrast design with full keyboard functionality and screen reader access to all content.”