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The tools and guidance documents on this website are provided to assist the caBIG® community in facilitating data sharing activities. They are not legal advice, nor does their distribution or use create an attorney-client relationship. Users should consult with their own legal advisers to assure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and institutional policies.

Tool Overview

Data Sharing and Security Framework Diagram
Data Sharing and Security Framework Diagram

The DSSF is an analytical tool designed to contribute to an understanding of the nature of any mandatory legal restrictions on data sharing and agreements, if any, necessary to facilitate proposed exchanges. The tool graphically depicts the four separate analyses which are required to assess the sensitivity of a given data set. It relies on color-coding to indicate how easy or difficult data sharing might be given the content of a specific data set. Green is associated with low sensitivity. Yellow is associated with moderate sensitivity. Orange is associated with high sensitivity. The colors should be thought of as a spectrum and not perfectly defined categories. The analyses are conducted locally to assure institutional compliance with state law and institutional policy. The highest level of sensitivity identified during the four analyses dictates the type of restrictions that need to be in place for the data to be shared. This is outlined in the bottom section of the tool.

The intended audience for the Data Sharing and Security Framework is researchers and their study teams as well as the institutional subject matter experts with which they interact in the ares of privacy & confidentiality, research policies & ethics, proprietary issues, and sponsor requirements. The subject matter experts may include privacy officers, compliance officers, chief information officers, legal counsel, human research protection program directors, IRB staff, IRB chairs, technology transfer office, research associate deans, and sponsored program offices.

What's New

A web-based, interactive version of the DSSF and the associated decision support tools has been conceptualized. If you would like to contribute any ideas to the ongoing development of this, please see our Discussion Forums. A specific forum has been established for discussing the future development and evolution of the DSSF.

At A Glance Details

  • Version Number: 1.0
  • caBIG Tool Bundle: DSIC

Documentation and Training


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Forum for Questions about This Tool


Related Tools

Other Links and Support

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