Dealing with complex data issues
Sharing data is generally a simple task but sometimes complex issues can arise that need to be thought through carefully.
View our short videos made with some of our key depositing organisations, including Natcen, DECC and ISER and the academics who collect the Skills and Employment Survey series.
Our staff have advised many hundreds of depositors from government departments to academics on how to prepare and, where necessary, protect data. While we provide detailed guidelines for data producers on many of the key issues surrounding data preparation, we appreciate that some of the same questions crop up time and time again. These tend to involve challenges such as gaining consent, exceptionally sensitive data and uncertainty about ‘how much’ anonymisation to do.
To point to successful archiving of these kinds of collections, we have brought together some case studies from researchers that show how they tackled archiving their data.
Various issues have been encountered, and successfully overcome, including:
NHS administrative data linked to national longitudinal cohort studies
Balancing teens’ privacy with desire to share data
Dealing with sensitive data
Negotiating complex anonymisation requirements
Addressing the challenges of retrospective consent
Balancing confidentiality with the usefulness of data
Where archiving has not been planned from the project’s inception
Archiving complex data ten years after the research
Thank you to these researchers for their efforts in making their data shareable.
Pat Caplan: Concepts of Healthy Eating Food Research: Phases I and II.
Maggie Mort: Health and Social Consequences of the Foot and Mouth Disease Epidemic in North Cumbria.
Jane Elliott: Depositing the Social Participation and Identity Sub-Sample, 2007-2010.
Sheila Henderson et al: Inventing Adulthoods: the Showcase Archive.
Karon Gush: Understanding Couples’ Experiences of Job Loss in Recessionary Britain.
Bethany Morgan-Brett: Negotiating Midlife: Exploring the Subjective Experience of Ageing, 2006-2008,
Jane Seymour: Consent for data sharing in sensitive qualitative research: burden or benefit?
Dr Lisa Calderwood: NextSteps,
Understanding Society: COVID-19 study,
Sarah Nettleton: Being a Doctor: a Sociological Analysis, 2005-2006,
We run a programme of regular training workshops covering key areas of preparing and sharing research data.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues further, email the Collections Development team or telephone: +44 (0)1206 872143.