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Archive for the 'FAQs' Category

How will the changes in Data Protection legislation affect my research project?

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 21 June 2017

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in May 2018. It will replace the current Directive and apply to all EU member states without the need for national legislation. The implementation will require comprehensive changes to the way in which organisations, like UCL, collect, use and transfer personal data.

Please see the UCL Data Protection Office’s guidance on the impact of the GDPR on how researchers will seek consent, on privacy notices, data breaches and more.

 

What should I know about transferring personal data to the U.S. and the new Privacy Shield agreement?

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 21 June 2017

Privacy Shield Fact SheetFollowing the agreement between the European Commission and United States in 2016, the ‘EU-US Privacy Shield’ is now in force and is therefore the main means of allowing personal data to be transferred to the US.

The EU-US Privacy Shield replaces the invalidated Safe Harbour agreement whilst providing additional obligations to protect personal data, as well as establishing annual monitoring and reporting.

Any new agreement to transfer personal data (including transient transfer) can only be done if the US recipient (this includes universities) has signed up to the Privacy Shield Framework.

Researchers planning on transferring data to the US to a recipient that has not signed up to the Privacy Shield Framework, or who are already working under an existing Safe Harbour agreement, should contact the UCL Data Protection Office (data-protection@ucl.ac.uk).

Further information about the EU-US Privacy Shield can be found on the UCL Data Protection webpages.

What is a DOI?

By Daniel Van Strien, on 17 February 2017

What is a DOI?

DOI stands for ‘Digital Object Identifier’. A DOI is an alphanumeric string assigned to an object which allows for an object to be identified over time. Often a DOI will be presented as a link which looks like: https://doi.org/10.1109/5.771073. A DOI will always point (link) to the current location for an object. A DOI is similar to a URL but unlike a URL a DOI will take you to the correct object even if the object is moved.

Why should I use a DOI?

A DOI is useful for citing your data in journal articles and other publications, it makes it easier for other people to cite your data and makes your data more discoverable. Most of us have had experience of following a link on a website to arrive on a 404 landing page. A DOI aims to avoid this happening with your research data. The use of a DOI or another persistent identifier is often a requirement of research funder policies on sharing underlying data.

Should I use DOI or another identifier for my data?

A DOI provides a persistent identifier for your data and has become a widespread standard. There are other identifiers available which some repositories may use instead. If you are depositing in a reputable repository then you should be given some type of persistent identifier which you can use to cite and link to your data.

It is also important to note that whilst a DOI provides a persistent identifier for your data it is also important that you assign metadata to your data too. This metadata will help others to understand the data you have shared and also make it easier for people to discover data which might be useful for their research.

How do I get a DOI for my data?

Most repositories will assign a DOI to your uploaded data. UCL Discovery and Digital Collections will both mint DOIs for any data shared in these repositories. Other established repositories will provide you with a DOI for your data once it has been uploaded. Once you have a DOI you can use it to cite your underlying data in publications, on the web and to more easily share your data with other researchers.

Is it safe to use cloud services such as Dropbox to store and share data?

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 7 July 2016

In the Security Knowledge Base, the UCL Information Security team has put together useful advice to help you assess whether using cloud services is safe. The guide enable to consider three important questions:

  1. Is the cloud service secure enough for this type of information?
  2. Is it compliant – and will it remain compliant – with relevant legislation, contractual or regulatory requirements?
  3. Are the other risks that arise from using this service acceptable?

The guide also provides key information on personal data protection, Intellectual Property Right and risk assessment.

If you need an alternative to commercial services you can use the in-house UCL Drop Box.

I intend to apply for a Wellcome Trust or CRUK grant, what should I know about data sharing?

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 8 February 2016

WTpictureAll Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK grant holders like grant applicants should be aware of the charities’ research data policies. To clarify their requirements, our colleagues at the University of Cambridge have asked them questions related to data management and data sharing.

Their answers are summarised in two useful blog posts:CRUKpicture

Personal and sensitive research data & the law

By Nazlin Bhimani, on 22 January 2016

dataMuch research data about people – even sensitive data – can be shared ethically and legally if researchers employ strategies of informed consent, anonymisation and controlling access to data.  However, researchers obtaining data from people are expected to maintain high ethical standards and comply with relevant legislation and duties.

This guidance is generally provided by professional bodies, host institutions and funding organaisations. The laws that govern the use of data, in addition to the duties of confidentiality, include the following Acts:

(more…)

Who owns my Data? What happens when I leave the university?

By June Hedges, on 16 December 2015

Who owns the Intellectual Property Rights in my Data?

The answer to this question can be complex. In so far as your data is protected by copyright or other Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), the ownership is likely to be governed by the terms of any collaboration or funder agreements which are in place. Those agreements may also determine how the data can be made available for re-use. In the absence of any such terms, copyright would rest with you and your fellow researchers as the “authors”. The Student IPR Policy or Staff IPR Policy should be consulted for guidance on particular issues. (more…)

Who can help me to write & negotiate my research contracts?

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 30 November 2015

UCL Research Contracts Office (RCO) can review and help you negotiate research agreements from a variety of funders and collaborators such as industry partners, Research Councils, foreign and domestic government departments and charities. Check the RCO webpages for more information.

For advice on research collaboration in general, including cross-boundary projects, see the UCL Research Integrity website.

I am using external hard drives to archive my data, how can I make them as safe as possible?

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 30 November 2015

A hard drive sitting on your bookshelf might be useful for storing your data, but it is not reliable or secure enough to be considered archiving (there are even worse ways to store your data, for instance memory sticks). We have written a guide on how to store & archive your research data (whether digital or not).

If you don’t have the time to read that guide right now, here are a few emergency tips for taking care of your hard drive to make sure that you can still read the data in the coming years.

At the minimum you should: (more…)

Who should I go to for advice on including data storage costs in a research grant application?

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 15 October 2015

UCL Research Data Services provides an institution-wide storage service on a project basis, and are happy to advise on potential costs for large amounts of storage for new projects. When registering a project for the Research Data Storage service, we ask you to estimate your data storage needs but these are changeable over the period of the allocation (as are the members of the project). Generally, 5TB per project is allocated unless other capacity is requested.  If you need more than 10TB we ask you to contact us directly so we can understand your needs and scale our service accurately. (more…)