Raising Standards - Lowering Barriers: Documentation of, access to and preservation of research data at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


, LSHTMResearchDataWorkingGroup; Leon, D; (2011) Raising Standards - Lowering Barriers: Documentation of, access to and preservation of research data at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Working Paper. UNSPECIFIED. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17037/PUBS.03409897

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Abstract

Most research funders are now requiring that data collected in projects they have financed should in principle be made available to the wider scientific community. This report provides a basis for LSHTM to develop guidance, infrastructure and expertise to meet these expectations. Underlying the move towards data sharing and improved access is the creation of adequate documentation of datasets. We argue that there is an overwhelming scientific case to improve the standard of documentation of the data we collect. This will be of great benefit to the research teams that generate the data in the first place, as well as significantly lowering the costs of providing data to third parties. While the level of documentation that we should aspire to will vary from study to study, there is a minimal standard which we need to ensure. Beyond this, the advent of web-based documentation, in which it is possible to provide easy-to-use and powerful ways of displaying information down to the level of individual variables is now possible at relatively low cost. Aside from issues of documentation, there are important principles of access that include the need to protect confidentiality and to ensure that appropriate consent has been obtained from participants, the importance of establishing transparent procedures for access and making decisions on requests for data. This is a rapidly moving area, with new initiatives being launched on an almost monthly basis. The School is in a good position to be one of the leading institutions in the UK in the way we document and make accessible our research data. This will not only ensure we are compliant with the requirements of funders, but it will also mean that the quality of the science we do is improved.

Item Type: Monograph
Keywords: research data management, rdm, data documentation
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/3409897

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