Safe and compliant research

In addition to selecting the best tools and methods for your project, you’ll also need to make sure that your research is conducted safely, and in a way that complies with any relevant legislation or regulations. Depending on the type of work you’re doing, there may be quite a bit that needs thinking about: the Research Support team can help you do this.

Please note that while the Research Support team can provide support and advice in these areas, we are not the people who sign off or approve your approach: the responsibility for that may fall within your department, or in the relevant team in Research Services (for intellectual property or ethics), Information Security, or Compliance. What we can offer is a research-specific perspective, and guidance about the options open to you.

Copyright and intellectual property

If you’re working with material which is in copyright, or to which other intellectual property rights apply, you’ll need to make sure either that your use of this falls within the legally permitted limits, or that you have the appropriate permissions from the rights holder. The Research Support team can provide general advice about how to proceed in this area.

If you have resources of your own that you’d like to make available for use by others, we can also advise about licensing – for example, for software or datasets.

Information security

We all know it’s important to keep data safe, especially if it’s confidential or otherwise sensitive. But it’s not always easy to tell what constitutes safe enough: different types of information require different levels and forms of protection. The Research Support team can help you consider which systems and processes are appropriate for your project, and can advise about some of the options available for storage, encryption, and data transfers.

Tools for compliance (GDPR and ethics)

If you’re working with personal data, or conducting research involving human subjects, there are University processes that you’ll need to work through, managed by the Compliance team and CUREC respectively. An important aspect of this is selecting the right technological tools and solutions for the types of materials that you’re dealing with: for example, for personal data you’ll need to ensure your storage and data handling processes are in line with GDPR. The Research Support team can provide guidance on what’s available, and can help you identify what’s the best fit for your project, thus making it easier for you to comply with the relevant legal and ethical requirements.

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