Responsibilities of the Main Researcher
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1. Sharing of responsibilities
We believe that individuals have the right to privacy with respect to their bodies, personal information, the thoughts and opinions they express, personal communications, and the places they live. They have the right to be free from intrusion or interference by others. To this end, we adhere to a set of principles and use appropriate technologies to ensure the confidentiality of personal and scientific data imported into its cloud environment by its users.
However, and in accordance with section 5.1 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS 2) of Canada, we also consider that, as a researcher, you have the ethical obligation to maintain the confidentiality of all the information entrusted to you by your research participants. You may not disclose this information in a manner that could result in the identification of participants and must protect such information against unauthorized access, use, disclosure, alteration, loss, and theft.
As such, it is expected that all researchers using LiGRE, the platform, and website, whether they are the main researcher or research partners, implement measures to ensure that the privacy and confidentiality of participants are respected, at all stages of their research.
For information purposes, you will find below the TCPS 2 recommendations for each stage.
2. Recruitment and consent
The following information must be kept in a secure place, separate from the data that is hosted on LiGRE’s servers:
- Contact information collected to contact potential participants
- Tools containing identifiable information collected at the time of consent (signatures, recordings, field notes, etc.)
3. Data collection and analysis
Whenever possible, it is recommended to replace participant names with an alphanumeric code or pseudonym and to keep the “code key” in a safe place, separate from consent forms and data hosted on LiGRE servers. The project’s main researcher is responsible for controlling access to the data code key.
4. Equipment and data storage
All research materials and data that do not reside on LiGRE servers must be securely stored to protect them from unintentional exposure, loss, or theft. We recommend that you keep research material that is not hosted on LiGRE’s servers under lock and key.
5. Material and data suppression
All material and data must be destroyed when it is no longer needed, and a deadline must be provided for this purpose (e.g., months and years). The length of data retention may vary according to the project, discipline, research objective, and data type. In any case, the research material and data that are hosted on LiGRE’s servers will be deleted, partially or totally, at the request of the main researcher.
6. Additional details
We also recognize that certain collection methods (group interview, meeting observation, etc.), characteristics of participants (specificities of positions held), or the field of research (size or nature of an organization participants work at) can expose participants to the risk of being recognized, despite the anonymity in which their comments are reported and the precautions taken when publishing results. We consider that it is your obligation to explicitly inform participants of the foreseeable limits on confidentiality. We also ask that you take additional precautions by coding or anonymizing the information (city, street, school, company or organization, etc.) that will be cited during interviews, and that could result, even indirectly, in the identification of the participants.
7. Other considerations
In addition to the TCPS 2 guidelines, we consider that you must comply with all of the legal and regulatory requirements of the country in which you conduct your research, whether in the protection of the privacy of the participants, consent, collection, disclosure, or use of participant information.
- The term “main researcher” refers to any user who has created a project. Users who create projects become their de facto owners.
- The term “research partner” refers to any user who is invited by another user to join their project team. Only the owner of a project can invite other users to join his/her project team. As such, the project owner is the only one who can share access to the project’s research data.
- In this context, “coding” refers to the action of removing and replacing the direct identifiers of the information with a code. If this code is accessible, it may be possible to re-identify specific participants (e.g., if the main researcher maintains a list that can be used to retrieve the real name of participants).
- All direct identifiers are irrevocably removed, and a code that may allow for re-identification is not kept. The anonymization of information is considered the most effective way to protect participants as it makes re-identification very difficult.
- The term “LiGRE” includes the functionalities and services that we make available through our website at www.ligresoftware.com .
- By “platform” we mean all of the software components, APIs and services (e.g., content) that allow users, without being exclusive, to enter and download data in LiGRE, to share, edit, transcribe, codify and analyze data with LiGRE, and to retrieve and download LiGRE data, all through our website at www.ligresoftware.com.
- Logiciels Ex-L-Tec Inc. is the company that developed LiGRE and remains the sole author. Any reference to the terms “us” and “our” refers to Logiciels Ex-L-Tec Inc.
It is understood and accepted that Logiciels Ex-l-tec Inc. is hereby released, discharged and held not responsible for any claim, action or cause of action of any nature whatsoever resulting from a failure of the main researcher or his/her research partners to fulfill their responsibilities as researchers as they are listed in TCPS 2 and presented herewith.