Working with sensitive research data in the Social Sciences and Humanities

A workshop outlining some of the key principles to bear in mind when working with sensitive or restricted research, whether collected yourself or obtained from a third party source such as a data archive. Issues of confidentiality, informed consent, cybersecurity and data management will be covered. Examples of scenarios or concerns drawn from the research of participants are particularly welcome. The role of support services at Oxford will also be outlined and in particular the role of the Bodleian Data Librarian who will lead the session. Follow up consultations with the Data librarian or other subject consultants are also offered.

Objectives - by the end of the session you will:

  • Understand key best practice principles when working with sensitive or restricted research data
  • Understand issues around creating original data in the Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Develop a better understanding of informed consent agreements
  • Maximise the usage potential of data during and after a project
  • Consider the strengths and weaknesses of anonymization, data blurring and similar techniques
  • Understand key strategies for protecting data including encryption, embargoes, future vetting and access restrictions
  • Better understand the obligation put on researchers by legislation and research partners


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