RDIM Step 1 - Plan You will need to consider Access Conditions (Open, Conditional, Restricted)

Access Conditions (Open, Conditional, Restricted)

The following access levels can be applied to your data via the Research Data JCU platform.

Restricted Access
Most data can be published via open or conditional access but this option is useful for sensitive datasets that cannot be de-identified and for highly confidential data. Making metadata available via a Data Publication ensures your work is more visible and facilitates discussion/collaboration with other researchers.
Conditional Access
This can be a good option for sharing sensitive data that has been de-identified. By making access conditional you can ensure requestors are genuine researchers and that they will maintain confidentiality and keep data files secure.
Open Access
Data can be downloaded via a link in Research Data JCU. Open data can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone - subject at most to the requirement to attribute and share alike. The ideal route is to ensure data is in a machine-readable format on an easily accessible platform with an open licence applied to it. Some licences are more ‘open’ than others. Look at the Know Your Rights: Understanding CC Licences Poster for a good visualization/comparison of the licences.

This option maximizes the visibility and potential impact of your data and may be required by your funder or publisher.

More Options
You can make data files (in the same dataset) available under different conditions.
Using survey data as an example:
  • raw data with direct identifiers would need to be stored in a secure location (option 1),
  • de-identified data might be made available via negotiation (2), and
  • the survey questions and codebook describing data variables could be public (3).
Changing Access
You can change options even after the dataset has been published. Under certain circumstances you may wish to have restricted or conditional access to your data and then open it up after a nominated period. In this example, you should choose a licence for your data, as a licence will govern use of the data.

It’s important to remember that whatever Access Conditions you apply to your data and information needs to completely align with any ‘ethics’ approval and/or ‘consent’ that has been given. For example:

  • If the consent form and related information sheet indicates the data and information is for the ‘specific' purpose of this research project, the data and information CANNOT be used for ANY other purpose, even by the primary researcher.
  • However, if the consent form and related information sheet indicates the data and information can be used for ‘extended’ purposes such as related research, the data and information CAN be used for whatever secondary purpose is stated. Where appropriate, further conditional access may be applied as per above.