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EAGER: Expanding Public Access to Restricted Research Data

NSF 2032713
Administered in: College of the Liberal Arts

Abstract:

Researchers in disciplines across the behavioral, social, educational, computational, and life sciences collect data whose sharing can pose significant practical and ethical challenges due to privacy concerns, political risk, cultural sensitivities, legal or policy restrictions, and intellectual property constraints. How should researchers protect data while making access as open as possible, in alignment with the principles of open science? And how should data repositories clearly communicate who has what sort of access in ways that encourage suitable uses? This project will create generalizable models and infrastructure that strike a balance between providing open access to research data and materials while protecting research data. The results will bolster transparent, reproducible, integrative, interdisciplinary and insight-generating research across scientific fields by enhancing an existing research data infrastructure that specializes in sharing sensitive research data with restricted scientific audiences.

The proposed infrastructure builds on Databrary.org, a restricted access data library specializing in storing and sharing video data and documentation. Databrary was co-developed by the PI with support from NSF. The project has two aims: (1) Implement interface and metadata enhancements to the NSF-supported Databrary digital library to make sensitive, restricted-access data maximally discoverable to the widest range of audiences, including users of the NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR), and (2) Ensure that Databrary embodies best practices and shares its innovations widely. The activities associated with these aims will expand access to Databrary?s existing holdings, improve the findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability of data shared there, and provide insights and knowledge that should benefit other scholarly communities facing similar challenges.

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