Data practices

IHME data practices are rooted in several core principles.

Data transparency:

Respect for the individuals behind the data we use:

  • We are grateful to those who are represented in the data, those who collected the data, and those who distribute or share the data with us.
  • We protect individual-level data that may be sensitive.
  • We honor agreements with data partners.

Our key data management practices are the output of these principles:

  • We cite the data that we use in our research.
  • We organize and share data source citations and other metadata in the GHDx.
  • We share as much information as we can about data sources according to GATHER, while also maintaining the confidentiality of identifiable or restricted data per University of Washington School of Medicine policy, state and federal laws and regulations, and agreements that IHME enters into with data providers in order to receive data for analysis.

Data are stored in access-controlled servers at the University of Washington:

  • Data are only available to internal users.
  • Internal access to the data library drives is governed by access permissions that are maintained according to the user’s role, sensitivity of the data (e.g., presence of identifiers), and terms of applicable data use agreements.

IHME staff stay current on human subjects training so that we understand the implications of collecting and using human subjects data in our research.

We abide by data use agreements as required by data partners. Data use agreements are specific to data being shared and the organizations involved, but generally:

  • Describe the intended and approved use of the data covered by the agreement.
  • Identify those permitted to access or use the data.
  • Define specific obligations of use of the data, such as notification of publications that use the data.