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Step 7: Collect and Collate Data

Page history last edited by Maria J Grant 10 years, 2 months ago

HEALER Research Toolkit

Step 7: Collect and Collate the Data


Conduct Issues    
Researchers bear the day-to-day responsibility for the conduct of research in terms of:
  • Ensuring that research follows the agreed protocol (or proposal)
  • Making sure that participants are treated fairly and appropriately while involved in research
  • Protecting the integrity and confidentiality of records and other data generated by the research
  • Reporting any failures in these respects, and other events or suspected misconduct through the appropriate systems
Data collected in the course of research must be retained for an appropriate period to allow further analysis by the original or other research teams subject to consent, and to support monitoring of good research practice by regulatory and other authorities.
When conducting your research, take steps to seek feedback from your participants. This will help you overcome practical problems you could not have foreseen and will help to ensure your project runs well and meets its objectives.
The University of Glasgow’s Guidance on Managing Research Records page summarises the issues usefully.


More information on conduct issues in general can be found via the UK Research Integrity Office web site and the NIHR’s web page Governance, Advice and Ethics Systems.
More information on data collection can be found in HEI Records Management; Guidance on Managing Research Records (2007) and in Records Management: NHS Code of Practice (2006).


Data Protection and Confidentiality


The Data Protection Act stipulates that the appropriate use and protection of personal data is paramount in the research setting.


When collecting and storing data on human participants, the following should be considered:


  • Identities should be disguised by use of codes (do not use initials!) 
  • Any details should be anonymised 
  • Use of person-identifiable information should be avoided unless absolutely necessary 
  • If unavoidable, only minimum necessary person-identifiable information should be used 
  • Access to person-identifiable information should be on a strict need-to-know basis
A summary of data protection principles (Information Commissioner’s Office) can be found on the Department of Health data protection page and in the document Confidentiality - NHS Code of Practice.  


Further Help


  • Take a look at material in Step 3 on Design Your Study and Develop Your Methods, particularly the section on statistical issues and sampling
  • Visit RDDirect for a database of web sites containing relevant information on statistics  
  • Consult your supervisor, manager or local R&D support service as applicable


Suggested Reading
A reading list provided by the University of Leeds School of Medicine's Health Research course MEDR 5110 Module 3: Handling Data for Research provides information about books useful to the researcher when collecting and handling data.


Comments (1)

Catherine Ebenezer said

at 10:01 am on Nov 9, 2010

Two of the links (to RDDirect and to the MEDR 5110 Module 3) seem to have disappeared in the course of editing:


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