Data Use Agreements
Procedures and Information
A Data Use Agreement (DUA) is a contractual document between a “Data Users” (usually the UMBC investigator requesting access to information) and the "Data Set Source" (the organization or institution providing the data) describing the provisions associated with the transfer of confidential, protected , or restricted-use data. Examples include records from governmental agencies or corporations, student records information, existing human research subjects data, and limited data sets.
DUAs address important issues such as limitations on use of the data, liability for harm arising from the use of the data, publication, and privacy rights that are associated with transfers of confidential or protected data. The DUA also assures that Data Users are using the data in accordance with applicable law (e.g. HIPAA, FERPA) and prevents the inappropriate use of protected or confidential data that could cause harm to the investigator, the University, or individuals whose data is part of the data set.
In general, a Data Use Agreement includes:
Review of Data Use Agreements
It is important for researchers to read the terms of a DUA before forwarding it to the UMBC Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for review. It is the researcher’s responsibility to understand and follow the terms of the DUA and to only use data for purposes specified. OSP assumes that a researcher who transmits a DUA to OSP has read and agrees to conform to those terms, whether or not the researcher’s signature is required on the DUA itself. When a researcher signs such an agreement, they could be subjected to legal and financial risks. A researcher should not sign a DUA prior to OSP approval of the DUA.
OSP serves as the campus signatory for research-based Data Use Agreements. DUAs must be routed through OSP for final sign-off and approval. OSP is authorized to enter into contractual agreements, including DUAs, on behalf of UMBC to ensure compliance with appropriate policies and regulations. Researchers are not authorized to negotiate or sign these agreements and cannot sign DUAs on behalf of UMBC. DUAs should not be signed by University faculty or staff members in the absence of institutional approval from OSP.
Data Use Agreements and Human Subjects Research
DUAs are commonly used when a researcher wishes to access archives or restricted data sets that may contain identifiable information about individuals for the purpose of conducting research. The IRB must be contacted if the use of the archived protected health data falls under the definition of “research”.
If a DUA is a part of the project submitted to the IRB, a draft version must be included in the protocol application. The IRB may provide conditional approval of a protocol if it is needed in order to get a DUA signed, but final IRB-approval will not be granted until a copy of the signed DUA is received from the Office of Sponsored Programs and submitted to the IRB.
August 23, 2013
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