Confidentiality and data protection
Research involving humans - response to COVID-19
15 January 2021
Due to the current circumstances, researchers must consider using online or remote methods where at all possible.
Any in-person face-to-face research or research involving travel must be permissible, safe and ethical.
Due to the current circumstances and restrictions in Scotland and the rest of the UK, research involving in-person contact with human participants is only permissible in very limited situations. For more information see the University research and coronavirus page.
Researchers must check the University coronavirus information pages and travel and fieldwork guidance frequently and before commencing any activity to ensure they are complying with current requirements.
For more information on the ethical review process at this time, see the interim guidance for research involving humans.
It is crucial that researchers respect the confidentiality of, and data provided by, their participants in an ethically and legally appropriate manner. This means thinking about how to safely and appropriately store and manage participants' data before any data is collected.
This page details the key information for researchers to consider in relation to participant data. Researchers should also check the guidance pages for specific research methods.
No matter what type of data you collect, it is always important that your participant information sheet (PIS) (Word) and consent form (Word) provide clear and consistent information to participants about their data and offer them an appropriate right to withdraw data, and that this information is consistent with what is written in your ethical review application form (Word).
If personal data have been lost, stolen, or accidentally deleted, researchers must contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately because the law requires that the University log such instances.