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Start Date: April 2015
End Date: June 2015
Github: LINK
Twitter: @Data2Knowledge
Funding Organisation: JISC
Organisation: DataSHIELD Team (international consortium)
Organisation: British Library
Organisation: F1000 Research

Jisc sandpit 1 pitch:

Jisc sandpit 2: Phase 1 progress and pitch

In AMASED we have adapted our open-source software DataSHIELD (developed for securely analysing biomedical data) for application to digital humanities and academic publishing. The DataSHIELD approach circumvents key obstacles preventing or limiting the open analysis of digital datasets in the humanities and academic publishing. Irrespective of discipline, data access and analysis barriers result from a range of scenarios:

  • ethical-legal restrictions surrounding confidentiality and the sharing of, or access to, disclosive data;
  • intellectual property or licensing issues surrounding research access to raw data;
  • the physical size of the data is a limiting factor.

DataSHIELD ( was born of the requirement in the biomedical and social sciences to co-analyse individual patient data (microdata) from different sources, without disclosing identity or sensitive information. Under DataSHIELD, raw data never leaves the data provider and no microdata or disclosive information can be seen by the researcher. The analysis is taken to the data - not the data to the analysis. It provides a flexible, modular, open-source solution ideally placed to grow a broad user and development community.

DataSHIELD has been successfully piloted in two European biomedical studies and is of proven value in the biomedical and social science domains, but its potential utility is wider than this. Issues of data sharing and confidentiality – particularly relating to IP and licensing – are also of critical importance in the humanities and to publishers.