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Research Data Management

It is good practice to plan your data management strategy prior to commencing data collection as it will help to ensure that all members of the research team are aware of the procedures and therefore are able to follow them.

The Research Data Management webpages provide extensive information, advice and how-to guides on planning and managing research data, such as how to write data management plans and costing requirements, advice on storing data including available options, handling sensitive personal data, and sharing data as well as advice on funder requirements.

The Digital Curation Centre is a very useful source of guidance on the storage, management, protection and sharing of digital research data. It also includes case studies, training materials, how-to guides, checklists and tools such as the data management plan to better enable researchers to plan and manage digital research data.  There is also guidance on the data requirements of various funders.

The following are questions for you to consider. In addition, the UK Data Service has useful, easy to follow guidance on data management, including the data life-cycle.  

Who is responsible for the data?
What data do you intend to collect?
Good Record Management
Data security and sharing

UCL Research Data Services

UCL Research Data Services was established to help UCL researchers fully comply with the UCL Research Data Policy and UK funding bodies' policies and requirements. These pages contain information on research data storage and research data management as well as information on the research data services they offer to facilitate better management of digital datasets by UCL researchers, their partners and collaborators.

Section 251 Exemptions and SLMS Data Safe Haven

Section 251 was established to enable the disclosure of confidential patient information for medical purposes, where it was not possible to use anonymised information and where seeking consent was not practical, having regard to the cost and technology available. Applications for data via section 251 are made to the Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG), which is part of the Health Research Authority (HRA).

All new and existing CAG applicants for data via section 251 are required to provide IG assurances using the HSCIC’s IG Toolkit, demonstrating a satisfactory level of compliance. The SLMS Data Safe Haven is designed to provide much of the assurance required for a satisfactory IG Toolkit score and IT for SLMS can offer researchers support in submitting an IG Toolkit for their study. 

UCL researchers in SLMS collecting and using personally identifiable information are advised to use the data safe haven to satisfy data security requirements or else use an alternative encrypted solution, such as encrypted memory sticks in the transfer of this data. Security of the intended storage of personal identifiable data will play an increased part of the data protection registration process.

Full information on the SLMS Data Safe Haven can be found on the IT SLMS Handling Sensitive Data webpage.  For researchers in SLMS intending to use the SLMS Data Safe Haven you will need to complete the SLMS IT course on managing sensitive data called Introduction to Information Governance