Sharing Data and Setting Conditions

One of the consequences of depositing data in the Australian Social Science Data Archive is that the data can be made available to other researchers who may wish to analyse them. Data are expensive to collect, and the principal investigator(s) (PIs) often do not have the time or money to analyse all aspects of the data they have obtained. When data are made available through a data archive, maximum utilisation of the data is possible. Other researchers may test different questions on the data, or may provide feedback about the original results. Data sharing is one avenue through which a researcher may develop contacts with others who are studying similar variables.

The conditions under which the data may be made available by the Archive to other researchers are determined by the PIs.

In order to access any data a user must first register with ASSDA.

On the ASSDA licence form the depositor can choose one of two standard access conditions:
  • There are no additional restrictions on access to the data or publication of results, and the depositor does not wish to be informed of the use being made of the data.
  • The depositor, or an authorised representative, wishes to be informed by the Archive of each request to use the data in order to give or withhold permission.

In addition, the depositor can liaise with ASSDA to impose special access conditions. For example, the user may be required to obtain the permission in writing of the original depositor of the data, or an authorised representative, before publishing any interpretation of such materials.

The depositor can contact the Archive at any time to find out who is using their data, in order to comment on that use and make contact with colleagues of similar interests.

An embargo period may be imposed. No access to the data would be permitted until after the date specified by the PIs. At the end of the embargo period, the data may be released under the access conditions set by the PIs.

The PIs can create access conditions to suit their particular concerns about how the data should be used in the future. For example, if the principal investigators told the respondents that the data would only be used for academic purposes, they could stipulate that the data may only be made available to university employees. If they want to ensure that other researchers can not pre-empt their findings, they can stipulate that the data be made available only after they have had time to publish their results.

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