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Institutional Review Board (IRB): Data Use Agreements

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When do I need a data use agreement?

Some researchers may use archival, secondary, or existing data sets that were previously collected by another researcher or organization. Examples of archival or secondary data include census data, General Social Survey (GSS), National Opinion Research Center, (NORC), Pew Research, or data sets maintained by a company, institution, or organization.

You will need a data use agreement if you are using a private data set. Private data sets are available only by special arrangement with the organization or data owner (i.e., they are not available on a public website). Thus, a private data set will require a data use agreement between the researcher and the data owner.

When I should obtain the data use agreement?

Before submitting your IRB application. In fact, you should reach out to the data owner early and make sure that your plan to use their data will be feasible.

Using the data use agreement template

If you want to use a private data set for your research, you will download the Data Use Agreement Template, send the template to the data owner to complete, and work with the data owner to understand what will be included in the data set and how/when the data will be sent to you.

You will upload the completed data use agreement in your IRB application

Data Use Agreement Template

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