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Access and Use Policy

Value of Access

Data are a fundamental building block of social science. The Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) promotes broader access to social science data, and works to limit barriers to sharing through clear policies and procedures. Although most of QDR’s holdings are not sensitive, protecting subject confidentiality and data integrity are key imperatives. For complete information on QDR’s access and use guidelines, please see our General Terms and Conditions of Use, as well as the other QDR documents referenced below.

User Requirements

QDR users who wish to view and download the repository’s data holdings must register with and be authenticated by QDR.  In order to support responsible use of the data shared via QDR, users are asked to read and agree to the General Terms and Conditions of Use as part of the registration process. The major aspects in these terms and conditions include:

  • Rules and Conduct
  • Copyright, intellectual property rights, and other legal concerns
  • Registration and account usage
  • Reserved content and services
  • Responsible use of data
  • Data confidentiality
  • Derived data
  • Re-dissemination of data

Scholars who wish to deposit their data with QDR are encouraged to start coordinating their data collection plans with QDR early in the lifecycle of their research project. The deposit process includes completing a Project Proposal Form, a Data Deposit Form, and a Standard Deposit Agreement or a Special Deposit Agreement.  More thorough instructions for depositing data with QDR are available here.

All users who wish to view or download QDR’s data holdings are required to complete a Standard Download Agreement and confirm their commitment to use downloaded data responsibly.  They may also be required to complete a Special Download Agreement depending upon what restrictions the depositor placed on the data project or data files they wish to view or download.  More thorough instructions for discovering and downloading data with QDR are available here.

Restrictions on Access

Some of QDR’s data holdings are only available to affiliates of institutions that are members of QDR. More information on institutional membership is available here

Restrictions on access to data are sometime necessary to ensure the confidentiality of research subjects is observed, or to comply with copyright law.  Depositors may use several techniques to maximize access within human subjects constraints, including anonymization (de-identification), or completing a Special Deposit Agreement establishing specific usage limitations (of varying levels of restriction depending on the degree of sensitivity of the data).