Data Acquisition and Collection

Whether using quantitative or qualitative data, your research might entail collecting the data yourself or using third party data


Collecting data:

The researcher is the one collecting the data, through experiments, observations, simulations, or derived and compiled data. If you are collecting data from humans or animals, you should contact Harvard's Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), correspondingly. 

Acquiring data:

The researcher acquires the data from third parties by either accessing existing publicly available data, using data made available by the Harvard Library, or licensing or purchasing data pursuant to an agreement directly with the data provider. Such agreements (e.g. Data Use Agreements, Non-Disclosure Agreements, Confidentiality Agreements, Licensing Agreements, etc.) should be reviewed by the investigator’s appropriate Negotiating Office

If the data are considered individually identifiable according to state, federal, or local laws, policies, or regulations, or the Provider requires IRB review regardless of identifiability, you should contact Harvard's IRB. Additionally, if you are unsure as to whether your data qualifies as human subjects research, reach out to your local IRB contact for guidance.