During research gives an overview of what you need to do to store and secure your research data during your project.

  • Before you start covers grant applications, the UQ Research Data Manager and ethics for research data management
  • Ongoing looks at sharing and re-using your research data once your project is completed

2. Sensitive data

Being sensitive does not necessarily prevent research data from being shared and re-used, if appropriate steps have been taken. It does, however, require additional management to maintain privacy, confidentiality and avoid misconduct.

Sensitive data includes (but is not limited to):

  • Human health and personal data, including information about secret or sacred practices
  • Ecological data that may place vulnerable species at risk.

You will need to:

  1. Determine if data is sensitive by checking the ARDC guide to sensitive data, UQ's information security classifications, your ethics and consent documentation, and any legal obligations
  2. Manage data appropriately by securing and backing up data, using access controls and protocols, documenting security guidelines and ensuring they are followed
  3. Take steps to prepare data for sharing such as de-identifying, anonymising, aggregating, and developing licensing and access protocols
  4. Inform yourself on the ethics and best practice of sharing sensitive and confidential data

Who will it be shared with?

  • Sharing with non-UQ researchers may require detailed agreements, terms and conditions on how the data may be used
  • Do any export controls apply which regulate transmission and sharing of controlled information?

How will the data be used?

  • What conditions or restrictions will you need to place on how, where and by whom the data can be used?
  • Will the data be used for single use or unrestricted use?
  • If the data is sensitive, what steps will be taken to meet your ethical and privacy obligations for the data?
  • What acknowledgement will be provided for your data e.g. citation?

Remember, once you have shared your data you may lose visibility and control over it, without appropriate management in place.

For more information read our Data deposit checklist or consult your Research Partnerships Manager.

Sharing sensitive data

With appropriate support, frameworks and guidelines, research data can be shared ethically.

Both the Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) encourage dissemination of all research outputs.

ARDC has produced a sensitive data sharing decision tree (PDF, 180KB) to help you meet obligations and maintain research integrity.