AHRC software and data loss study: participant information

Study Title: Shaping AHRC Data and Software Policy 

Researcher: Dr Rebecca Taylor, Dr Johanna Walker & Professor Simon Hettrick 

ERGO number: 65039

Stack of papers

Who commissioned this research?

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) commissioned this research. The anonymised results from this survey will be added to an evidence base which will help direct AHRC policy on software and data in the future.

What is this research about? 

As a member of the Arts and Humanities community we would like to invite you to participate in a survey to share your perspective on data and software practices.   To help shape policies and practices on data and software and ensure these are fit for purpose, the AHRC have asked us to investigate views on data and software knowledge and skill amongst researchers and others involved in arts and humanities research. A link to our webpage is available here

We would like to invite you to complete the attached survey, which we estimate will take 10 minutes. We will ask you about data and software practices, skills and support. It’s crucial to our study to gather input from the widest community possible, in order to understand the broadest range of views and experiences, so we are keen to hear from you even if you feel you do not use much data or software in your research. We would also encourage you to forward this survey to as many of your colleagues as you wish.   

Do I have to take part? 

To help you decide whether you would like to take part, or not, in the above research study, it is important that you understand why the research is being performed and what it will involve. Please read the information below carefully and ask questions about anything that is not clear, or get in touch if you would like more information before you decide to take part in this research. The survey is not compulsory and, even if you decide to participate, you can withdraw at any time. You will be asked to confirm that you are happy to participate by clicking the “next” button below.  We hope you will be keen to participate and help shape the way AHRC understands, supports and funds research practice in the future.  

Why have I been asked to participate? 

You have received this link because you were identified as a researcher in the arts and humanities community or because you have participated in a research project funded by an AHRC grant.  

What will happen to me if I take part? 

You will be asked a series of questions about you, your research and your experience of using data and, where relevant, software, in your research. 

Are there any benefits in my taking part? 

The data collected by this survey will be used to help the AHRC to develop policies that support key data and software infrastructure for research and support the building of skills and capabilities within the community.  As a thank you, you can choose to be entered into a prize draw for a £100 Love2Shop voucher, just enter your email address at the end of the survey (it will not be stored with the rest of your data). 

Are there any risks involved? 

We know of no risks involved in taking part in this survey. 

What data will be collected? 

The survey will take around 10 minutes and will ask you about : 

  • your area of research, your institution and some demographic details,  
  • the research you do, the data you collect and how you analyse it, manage it and store it  
  • Any software you use or develop in relation to your research 
  • the skills necessary to support your research  

Will my participation be confidential? 

Your participation and the information we collect about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential.  Only members of the research team and responsible members of the University of Southampton may be given access to data about you for monitoring purposes and/or to carry out an audit of the study to ensure that the research is complying with applicable regulations. Individuals from regulatory authorities (people who check that we are carrying out the study correctly) may require access to your data. All of these people have a duty to keep your information, as a research participant, strictly confidential.  

We only collect your name or contact details for the purpose of administering the prize draw or if you wish to be included in future phases of the research and this is removed and stored separately to the data.  The anonymised data will be made available under an appropriate licence (TBC) via the University of Southampton’s Pure repository. 

What happens if I change my mind? 

You can change your mind and withdraw at any time by just closing the survey window. If you wish to withdraw from the survey entirely, you can select "Exit and clear survey" at the top right of the survey window, and all the information you have provided will be deleted. To remove your data from our records after completing the survey you must make a note of your participant ID as we need that to identify which record to remove. 

What will happen to the results of the research? 

The results will be published in a report for the AHRC, parts of which will be made publicly available.  The anonymised data will be made available under an appropriate licence (TBC) via the University of Southampton’s Pure repository. 

Where can I get more information? 

If you want more information, you can contact the lead researcher, Rebecca Taylor. (r.taylor@soton.ac.uk). You can learn more about the research at https://engagementhub.ukri.org/community/ahrcsoftwareanddata/.  

What happens if there is a problem? 

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, please contact Rebecca Taylor (r.taylor@soton.ac.uk). 

If you remain unhappy or have a complaint about any aspect of this study, please contact the University of Southampton Research Integrity and Governance Manager (023 8059 5058, rgoinfo@soton.ac.uk). 

Data Protection Privacy Notice 

The University of Southampton conducts research to the highest standards of research integrity. As a publicly-funded organisation, the University has to ensure that it is in the public interest when we use personally-identifiable information about people who have agreed to take part in research.  This means that when you agree to take part in a research study, we will use information about you in the ways needed, and for the purposes specified, to conduct and complete the research project. Under data protection law, ‘Personal data’ means any information that relates to and is capable of identifying a living individual. The University’s data protection policy governing the use of personal data by the University can be found on its website (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/legalservices/what-we-do/data-protection-and-foi.page).  

This Participant Information Sheet tells you what data will be collected for this project and whether this includes any personal data. Please ask the research team if you have any questions or are unclear what data is being collected about you.  

Our privacy notice for research participants provides more information on how the University of Southampton collects and uses your personal data when you take part in one of our research projects and can be found here.

Any personal data we collect in this study will be used only for the purposes of carrying out our research and will be handled according to the University’s policies in line with data protection law. If any personal data is used from which you can be identified directly, it will not be disclosed to anyone else without your consent unless the University of Southampton is required by law to disclose it.  

Data protection law requires us to have a valid legal reason (‘lawful basis’) to process and use your Personal data. The lawful basis for processing personal information in this research study is for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. Personal data collected for research will not be used for any other purpose. 

For the purposes of data protection law, the University of Southampton is the ‘Data Controller’ for this study, which means that we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. The University of Southampton will keep identifiable information about you for 10 years after the study has finished after which time any link between you and your information will be removed. 

To safeguard your rights, we will use the minimum personal data necessary to achieve our research study objectives. Your data protection rights – such as to access, change, or transfer such information - may be limited, however, in order for the research output to be reliable and accurate. The University will not do anything with your personal data that you would not reasonably expect.  

If you have any questions about how your personal data is used, or wish to exercise any of your rights, please consult the University’s data protection webpage (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/legalservices/what-we-do/data-protection-and-foi.page) where you can make a request using our online form. If you need further assistance, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer (data.protection@soton.ac.uk). 

Thank you for supporting our research. 

  • I have read and understood the information and have had the opportunity to ask questions about the study (by emailing Rebecca Taylor).  
  • I agree to take part in this research project and agree for my data to be used for the purpose of this study.  
  • I agree that my anonymised data can be made available in an appropriate repository for the purpose of future research on the arts and humanities research community. 
  • I understand my participation is voluntary and I may withdraw at any time for any reason without my participation rights being affected by providing my Participant ID which I will receive at the end of the survey.