Working With Personal Data
- If the research data you collect contains information that can identify living individuals or other information that is sensitive for political or commercial reasons etc. you need to ensure that you collect, use, store and transport it in line with the law and according to the consent you have collected from research participants.
Follow Data Protection Legislation and Processes at SOAS
Any researcher at SOAS (staff or student) who is collecting or working with data that includes personal data must refer to the following guidance and policies:
Manage Your Research Data Securely
If your research data includes personal or sensitive information you will need to take extra consideration including:
- Securing physical access to your research data
- Careful use of cloud storage and transfer of data on the internet
- Securing research data when travelling
- Data disposal.
Get Informed Consent for Using Personal Data in Research
Seeking and documenting the consent you have for data collection, data handling and re-use of your research data is an essential element of working with personal data.
When you seek consent from research participants you must give them specific information about how their data will be:
- managed e.g. how you will collect it, store it, travel with it etc.
- used and analysed e.g. software used, anonymized, transcribed etc.
- published e.g. in journal articles published online, your PhD thesis deposited in SOAS Research Online etc.
- archived and made available e.g. your research dataset will be deposited in the UK Data Archive to meet your funder requirements
- it is absolutely essential to collect and keep evidence of what your research participants have consented and to keep that information to ensure that you manage and share your data in accordance with research participants permission. Under data protection legislation you need to be able to demonstrate that you have informed consent
- you should refer to the SOAS Template Consent Forms which gives you the essential information you should be making available to research participants when you collect consent