Research Ethics & Data Management

Good ethical practice and data management are of crucial importance at all stages of a research project. How and when to save incoming data? Who are entitled to have access to what data? How to setup an informed consent form* in such a way that we can use data for publication or share data for research purposes? These and other core issues must be addressed in an early stage and need to be readdressed a couple of times throughout a research project.
All SHE researchers must take the following into account:

Code of conduct

All research done by SHE researchers must comply with the code of conduct of Netherlands universities. Highlights in this code of conduct are:

  1. Scientific activities are performed scrupulously, unaffected by mounting pressure to achieve.
  2. Science’s reputation of reliability is confirmed and enhanced through the conduct of every scientific practitioner. A scientific practitioner is reliable in the performance of his research and in the reporting, and equally in the transfer of knowledge through teaching and publication.
  3. Presented information is verifiable. Whenever research results are publicized, it is made clear what the data and the conclusions are based on, where they were derived from and how they can be verified.
  4. In his scientific activities, the scientific practitioner heeds no other interest than the scientific interest. In this respect, he is always prepared to account for his actions.
  5. Scientific practitioners operate in a context of academic liberty and independence. Insofar as restrictions of that liberty are inevitable, these are clearly stated.

Data management

Data are stored on Maastricht University’s secure P-drive as well as on SURFdrive. Additionally, all research data will be registered on Dataverse, a system for archiving research data that is used by several Dutch universities and supported by DANS (see www.dataverse.nl). If anonymization or pseudonymization is possible, data are stored on Dataverse so that, on request, they can be made available to other researchers for replication studies (eventually after encryption). PhD candidates who finished their project are granted permission to defend their thesis only after all data necessary for re-analysis of published findings (e.g., questionnaires, coding schemes, log files, SPSS data, and syntax files) have been stored on the P-drive and/or Dataverse. ​

For help, you may contact Jimmie Leppink (mailto://shedata@maastrichtuniversity.nl).

Ethical approval

Ethical approval is needed for all research projects carried out within SHE. Researchers will typically need ethical approval from their own university or hospital. For SHE researchers located in the Netherlands, ethical approval can be asked from the Netherlands Association for Medical Education (NVMO): www.nvmo.nl/ethische toetsing onderzoek (website in Dutch).

*Example of Informed Consent Form
Participants in SHE research projects must always fill out an informed consent form. 
You can find an example of the informed Consent Form here.