II. Data Collection

Publication Year: 08. 04. 2017    Date of last inspection: 08. 04. 2017

 How to cite this page?

Social Science Data Archive. YEAR. II. Data Collection. Accessed: http://adp.fdv.uni-lj.si/eng/usposobi/zkg/ustvarjanje/ (DD. month year).

 

The Data Collection Phase includes:

  • collecting data: noting, observing, measuring, experimenting and simulating,
  • capturing and creating metadata,
  • searching and acquiring existing data.

 


Legal and ethical issues: Consent, Anonymisation, Access Regulation

Veerle Van den Eynden, ADP course for doctoral students, Ljubljana 2015

 

 

Confirmation of Study Participation

We need to think about protection of confidentiality before and during data collection, as well as when we are preparing the final data file for publication. We are obliged to do so legally by The Law on Personal Data Protection Act and codes of ethics of the research community. Codes of ethics recommend to protect our participant before unnecessary damage and to ensure their cooperation by informing them with our study, to ask them to confirm their participation and to follow disciplinary methodological standards.

The study participant needs to confirm to participation in the project. Consent may be done verbally or in a written form. Informing about the project is important especially when we conduct interviews, when we make audio or video content or when we are investigating especially sensitive content or groups of people (for example children, medical studies, crime, studies on workplace etc.). It is especially important the purpose of the study, with which we inform our study participants, includes also the possibility of using the collected data after the completion of the project.

Appropriate informing of the investigated population and their consent to participate in the study is of vital importance for the research data lifecycle. The consent of the participants determines:

  • who will be included in the research process,
  • dissemination of data in presentations, publications and online
  • sharing and long-term preservation of data (it influences the organization, preserving the data, the scientific community, and secondary data users)

The potential study participants need to have sufficient information to consciously decide on their participation. Effective and carefully prepared information increase the research transparency, as well as participants' trust in the responsible management of the data in the research data lifecycle.

 

 

Consent Form

 

The information document and the consent form are connected with the characteristics of the individual study. We may talk about written or verbal consent to participate. The documents are also different, according to the type of research – quantitative or qualitative (see Research Ethics and New Forms of Data (OECD) and Timescapes). 

Written consent usually includes the information document and the signed consent form. The content of the information document is:

  • the purpose of the study,
  • what participation in the study includes,
  • benefits and risks of participation,
  • access conditions to collected materials,
  • use of data,
  • strategies to assure ethical use of data and
  • detailed information on the study (funding source, sponsors, project name, contact information, how to file a complaint).

Consent form needs to be written in a clear language. The study participant needs to have the possibility to decide on the following:

  • that he/she has read and understood the project information,
  • that he/she had the possibility of getting additional information,
  • that he/she freely agrees to participate in the project,
  • that he/she understands that he/she may end the participation in the project without having to state a reason and without punishment,
  • that the procedures, regarding protection of confidentiality, were explained (use of personal names, pseudonyms, data anonymization etc.), and
  • that the ways of data use were explained: publications, exchanges, archiving.

The form should include signatures and signature dates for study participants and researchers.

When the nature of data collection enables so, the information on research data management during and after the project should be accessible also on the web pages of the project, so that the study participant can get additional information.

 

 

IMPORTANT for preservation and dissemination

 

The study participant needs to be clearly informed that the research data will be saved and made available to other researchers after the completion of the project, for the purpose of secondary analysis.

Examples of such informing:

  • I agree that the collected data will be archived to the ADP.
  • I understand that other registered researchers will be able to access this data, however only when they will confirm to the protection of confidentiality of received data.
  • I understand that other researchers may use the data in publications, reports, and web pages as well as with other research results, however only when they will confirm to the protection of confidentiality of received data.

 

The researcher should also check before starting his/her study, whether the nature of the study, the study's funder or the research institutions demand the opinion of the responsible committee on ethics:

 

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