Secondary data

Using secondary data can be a good alternative to collecting data directly from participants (primary data), removing the need for face-to-face contact. 

Secondary data relating to living human subjects often requires ethical approval depending on the source and nature of the data. The extent to which the ethical review application form must be completed also depends on the source and nature of the data. 

This guidance covers some of the ethical issues relating to use of secondary data and how this impacts the ethical application process.