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Research Data Management: Data Ownership & Privacy

This library guide outlines the basics of data management and creating a data management plan.

Ownership and Privacy

It is important for researchers to understand the relevant ownership rules for any data that they collect or use.

From an ethical standpoint, researchers should consider the implications of data ownership agreements before they are made with other researchers, institutions, or funding agencies.

Typically, when research is funded by government or nonprofit granting agencies, the data are owned by the institution receiving the grant. The primary researcher or scholar receiving the grant has the responsibility for storage and maintenance of the data, including the protection of confidential or sensitive information.

Data obtained through research supported by private or corporate funding, however, may have different guidelines for ownership and restrictions on sharing. This issue is further complicated when organizations such as universities patent data sets.

If individual people form part of your esearch project then you have a duty to ensure that any data you gather and subsequently use is handled correctly. Ethical guidelines are issued by funding organisations and may also be compiled by the University.

In addition, legislation such as the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) , which governs the processing of personal data, must be adhered to.

See more under the tab Ethical Issues.