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Research Data Management Toolkit: Share & collaborate

Best practices in Research Data Management promote research integrity and collaborative opportunities. A Research Data Management Plan ensures data security, accessibility and validation of results.

Data Sharing Agreements

Data Sharing Agreements document the terms of sharing non-public data between organisations for research purposes. 

The Australian Research Data Commons' (ARDC) Data Sharing Agreement Development Guidelines is a recommended resource on developing a data sharing agreement (DSA).

A Data Sharing Agreement is required when UWA researchers are sharing data with external partners. No agreement is needed when collaborating with other UWA researchers.

A UWA template Data Transfer Agreement (DTA) Research is available for UWA researchers who are providing non-public data to a third party for their research use. This template is to be used in consultation with the UWA Office of Research where related to research projects. 

If you are receiving non-public third party data for research purposes, the organisation that provides the data will usually provide its own DTA. The UWA Office of Research can review this DTA for UWA researchers, if you have any concerns, and support you to identify appropriate signatories to the agreement. 

Sharing big and/or sensative data with AARNet FileSender

FileSender as a standalone service for Australia’s research and education sector provided by AARNet. FileSender is a powerful and user-friendly file-sharing service designed to simplify the process of exchanging files securely and efficiently over the internet. FileSender eliminates the need for email attachments and overcomes the limitations posed by file size restrictions, providing a seamless experience and ensuring files, such as research data, reach their intended recipients swiftly and securely.

Find out more about FileSender at

Sharing data with collaborators

The level of sensitivity of your data will determine who can access it. Some data might only be accessible to a small number of individuals, and other data might be accessible by the entire project group.

Even for working data, consider strategies to minimise restrictions on sharing. These may include anonymising or aggregating data, gaining participant consent for data sharing, gaining copyright permissions, and agreeing to a limited embargo period. It might not be necessary to collect sensitive data for your research which then reduces the classification level and who can access the data. 

Further information

Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) Identifiable data webpage collates a selection of Australian and international practice guidelines and resources on how to de-identify datasets. 

UWA Library hosted a panel discussion with researchers from a range of subject areas on de-identifying their data as part of Open Access Week in 2020 (60 mins):

Which storage options are best for collaboration?

The data storage matrix provides guidance for choosing your storage system at varying levels of sensitivity - the higher the level of sensitivity, the higher the level of security which will be required. Some systems provide easier access to external collaborators than others, and considerations such as the size of your data and ability to sync with a local copy will be factors affecting your choice of storage system.


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