Data Sharing

Whether or not you must share your data publicly depends on several factors including the funding agency or directorate requirements as well as the data itself. Some data cannot be shared because of issues related to privacy, confidentiality, or intellectual property. Funding agencies are aware that in some cases sensitive data and restricted data cannot be shared. In such cases, you should indicate on your data management plan why you cannot share some or all of your data.

Be sure to review the requirements for your funding agency carefully to determine their policy on data sharing and what types of data are included in the policy. Guidelines (pdf) for the NSF Engineering directorate, for example, specifically state that "analyzed data and the metadata that define how these data were generated" are included, but that raw data qualify as "preliminary analyses" and are therefore not included.

Intellectual Property

The UT System Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations Series 900000: Intellectual Property contains specific information regarding intellectual property, including inventions, patents, licensing, copyright, and tangible research property. See also the UTSA Office of Commercialization and Innovation for UTSA-specific information regarding intellectual property.

Human Subjects

If your research involves human subjects, you will need to consider confidentiality and privacy issues before sharing your data. The UTSA Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for overseeing the rights and welfare of human subjects. The terms and conditions under which sensitive data are released will need to be reviewed and approved by the IRB as a part of the research protocol review process.

For more information on how to modify sensitive data for public release, see these resources:

"Guidance Regarding Methods for De-identification of Protected Health Information in Accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule," US Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights.

Hrynaszkiewicz, I, Norton, ML, Vickers, AJ and Altman, DG. "Preparing raw clinical data for publication: guidance for journal editors, authors, and peer reviewers.BMJ 2010;340:c181.

"Preparing Data for Sharing" from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). (2012). Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving: Best Practice Throughout the Data Life Cycle (5th ed.). Ann Arbor, MI.