Restricting access to your data
Section 6 of 7
Image: Fence [cropped], Tama66, Public Domain
You are not expected to make all your data open by default. The general principle is ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’. There are a number of reasons why you might not be able to make your data openly available, such as:
- The data belongs to a third party and you do not have permission to make it publicly accessible
- The data contains personal information which you do not have permission to share openly
- The data contains sensitive information which would harm UK national security if released
- The data contains commercially sensitive information which would compromise unprotected intellectual property if released
Where possible, you should consider delaying the release of your data by applying an embargo, or sharing your data with access restrictions, rather than making your data completely closed. Information on the different access levels offered at the University’s data repository is available here. Any access restrictions, and the reasons for these restrictions, should be outlined in the metadata record describing your dataset. You should also mention this in your data access statement. Data access statements will be addressed later in this tutorial.
- The dataset does not belong to you, so you cannot publish it without permission from the owner (in this case, the commercial partner). If you are unable to get permission to share the dataset, even with access restrictions, you can note this in your data access statement. Data access statements are covered in the next section of this tutorial.