Primer for Protecting Sensitive Data in Academic Research

ACRL’s new Primer for Protecting Sensitive Data in Academic Research, prepared by the ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee (ReSEC), is a communication resource about providing protections for sensitive data that may be used or produced in the course of conducting academic research. This primer provides  a quick grounding in the whats, whys, and hows of current regulations and practices for protecting sensitive data. It is based on work created in the Netherlands for the General Data Protection Regulation in EU law, but brought into the United States context.

“Using the work that has been done in Europe as a model, ReSEC had the opportunity to engage with the topic of sensitive data protection and produce a resource for the US community. We hope it will be taken up and used widely at academic institutions,” noted ReSEC Chair Yasmeen Shorish, Data Services Coordinator/Associate Professor at James Madison University in Virginia.

This primer helps individual researchers, managers of research data services, and organizational leaders understand how and why to integrate data protection activities into their practices through the collaborative endeavor of research data management. Working through the capability maturity model can help these stakeholders understand and communicate where their current practices are and where they might need to be. Lastly, the model includes resources to get started on implementing changes to current sensitive data protection practices.

The Primer for Protecting Sensitive Data in Academic Research is freely available online, archived in the LIS Scholarship Archive (LISSA), linked in the ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit, and licensed CC BY NC 4.0.