Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology
Data Management Policy
The department of CADS adheres to the Leiden University Research Data Management Regulations and to the international principles for FAIR data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable), to the extent that these apply to processed data only and to the extent that the processed data can be rendered interpretable to others.
The Leiden Statement on Data Management for Anthropologists, drawn up by a committee chaired by Prof. Peter Pels in 2015, offers our response to data management policies and has mobilized widespread and active support among anthropologists internationally.
It argues that the co-production of knowledge is the foundation of both science and ethics. This means that ethical questions are part of our data gathering from the very start, and ethics and integrity are firmly imbricated (see: Pels et al (2018); Dilger, Pels and Sleeboom-Faulkner (2019), De Koning, Meyer, Moors and Pels (2019); the EASA statement on Data Governance or see the Leiden Anthropology blog entry devoted to it.
Consequently, the Institute CADS adheres to the Leiden University Research Data Management Regulations and to the international principles for FAIR data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable), to the extent that these apply to processed data only and to the extent that the processed data can be rendered interpretable to others. Anthropological data are not stored in excel sheets or databases, but in the form of lengthy written texts that span multiple hand-written notebooks or digital files (e.g. word docs, photos, film, audio-recordings). These data require contextualization to be intelligible to other researchers because: a. they reflect a human relationship between researcher and research participants that shapes the context in which the data was gathered; b. each notebook, or text, cannot be easily understood without triangulation across multiple notebooks/devices/personal archives, which cannot all be made available due to the risk of breach of privacy (lack of anonymity), and c. without deep knowledge of the research context, of the broader social situation/conversation/physical location in which the notes were gathered, and of the specific research participants the data cannot be accurately interpreted.
These principles translate into various elements for a data management policy that include open access publishing where possible, confidentiality and safety for research participants, and transparency about use and storage of data.
The data management policy of CADS applies to all researchers working on projects that are initiated by the department and/or conducted under the aegis of the department. This includes retired colleagues, fellows, and scholars who bring their own projects into the department.
As of June 2019, new Ph.D. students write up a data management plan in the context of mandatory training provided by the university library. All other research staff are required to submit and discuss the DMP with their supervisors in an annual Performance & Development conversation.
List of reference
Pels, P., Boog, I., Henrike Florusbosch, J., Kripe, Z., Minter, T. and, Postma, M. (2018). Data management in anthropology: the next phase in ethics governance? Social Anthropology, 26(3),391-413.
Dilger, H., Pels, P., & Sleeboom-Faulkner, M. (2019). Guidelines for data management and scientific integrity in ethnography. Ethnography, 20(1), 3-7.
De Koning, M., Meyer, B., Moors, A., & Pels, P. (2019). Guidelines for anthropological research: Data management, ethics, and integrity. Ethnography, 20(2), 170-174.