Research Data Service

Personal data

Advice about research data containing personal data and the DataVault

If you are working with personally identifying information as part of your research data, you need to make sure you understand the implications of data protection legislation.  The University has a website dedicated to providing information and guidance on this.

University of Edinburgh Data Protection website

Minimise the risk of disclosure.

Good practice means anonymising your data, if you can do so without losing its usefulness.

If on the other hand you need to retain some kind of subject identifier, the data should be pseudonymised, if it is practical.

Whereas, if you unavoidably need to keep the identifying information of your subjects, this personal data may be deposited in the DataVault because it is encrypted. You must be able to provide justification for retaining the personal data. The DataVault will allow you to record relevant details about personal data you are depositing, such as any data protection exemptions you believe apply to the data.