In 2020, the Open Science Programme of Utrecht University sent out the first Open Science monitor. The aim was to gain insights into the awareness, attitudes, practices, opportunities and barriers of employees of Utrecht University and Utrecht University Medical Center regarding several Open Science practices. As the dataset contained a lot of demographic information (e.g., gender, age, nationality, position, type of contract, etc.), and all of those variables combined could lead to identification, it could not be shared publicly. For this particular dataset, full anonymisation was not desirable, as that would greatly decrease its scientific value. Therefore, the Open Science Programme chose to publish only the metadata and documentation, without sharing the data, in order to protect participants’ data while still complying with the FAIR principles.
Here’s the strategy they took:
- They published the dataset under restricted access on Yoda, so that the dataset was at least Findable and Accessible.
- They shared other relevant documentation publicly:
- The preregistration.
- The questionnaire itself, including the information provided to participants.
- The final report written about the dataset.
Note that in the metadata of all these publications, cross-references to the other publications are included to allow for maximum findability of the project’s outputs.