Ethics and research data, University of Sydney Library

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Ethics and research data

Understand the ethical requirements relating to your data

There are various ethical issues related to how research data is collected, used, stored and shared. Most ethics inquiries should be directed to the Ethics Office.

Publishing or sharing sensitive data

Non-identifiable sensitive data can legally be shared or published provided you have consent to do so and there is no mechanism for re-identifying any of the data. If you have data you’d like to publish and are unsure if you’re allowed, contact the Research Data team. You can find more information on the publishing research data page.


Informed consent must be obtained before collecting data from participants in research. You must obtain consent from participants to publish, share or re-use their data (including publishing it in an open or mediated access archive). Templates for consent forms and further information are available on the Ethics website.

Removing identifying information

In most circumstances data that you publish should have identifying characteristics removed to ensure that individuals can not be identified. This includes ensuring, where possible, that individuals will remain anonymous if their data is linked with other datasets. The ANDS De-identifying Your Data guide provides a good overview of this process.