Frequently Asked Questions

What is LSHTM Data Compass?

LSHTM Data Compass is a curated digital repository of research outputs produced with involvement by staff and students at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, MRC Unit The Gambia, and/or the MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit.

The repository is maintained by the LSHTM Research Data Manager, based in the LSHTM Library & Archives Services. Correspondence concerning LSHTM Data Compass should be sent to researchdatamanagement@lshtm.ac.uk.

What resources are hosted in LSHTM Data Compass?

LSHTM Data Compass can be used to host digital resources that are useful to verify and reproduce research findings. This includes:

  • Qualitative and quantitative data
  • Code, algorithms and scripts
  • Search strategies
  • Research instruments, such as questionnaires and interview guides
  • Other files intended for reuse

Confidential and Highly Confidential data, as defined in the LSHTM Information Management and Security Policy, and third party material not permitted to be distributed, will not be accepted. However, a metadata-only record may be created to describe these resources.

Pre and post-prints, book chapters, conference proceedings, theses, videos, etc. are not accepted. These are made available in LSHTM Research Online.

Contact researchdatamanagement@lshtm.ac.uk for advice.

What are the benefits of submitting resources to LSHTM Data Compass?

Each resource will be:

  • Assigned a permanent Digital Object Identifier (DOI) that can be cited in publications
  • Maintained to ensure it will be accessible and usable in the long-term
  • Monitored to determine the number of downloads and how it is cited in publications and social media

What support documents should be provided?

Resources should be accompanied by documentation sufficient to understand its content, how it was produced, and how it may be accessed. For instance:

  • The Participant Information Sheet and Informed Consent Form
  • A codebook or data dictionary
  • Other support documentation

What file formats should be used when submitting resources?

The UK Data Service guidance on preservation and access format may be helpful. This can be found at https://www.ukdataservice.ac.uk/manage-data/format/recommended-formats.

How do I upload my digital resource?

Digital resources may be submitted in two ways:

Tutorials on creating and submitting a Data Collection, Search Strategy, and other outputs are available. Contact researchdatamanagement@lshtm.ac.uk for advice.

What access levels are supported?

Each file can be assigned one of three access levels:

  1. Anyone: File can be accessed by all, without registration.
  2. LSHTM and other registered users: File can be accessed by users with an LSHTM login. Other users must complete and submit a request form.
  3. Request access for all: All users must complete a request form, for consideration by the corresponding author.

I've published my data elsewhere. Do I need to upload it to the LSHTM digital repository?

No, but you should email researchdatamanagement@lshtm.ac.uk to let us know that it's available. We will record its existence and promote it.

Must I provide a separate licence form for each data file?

Data published under a Creative Commons or Open Data Commons licence do not require a separate licence form. Restricted data made available on request should be accompanied by a Data Sharing Agreement or other licence that outlines permitted and non-permitted use. Contact researchdatamanagement@lshtm.ac.uk for advice.

When will my resource be made available?

Resources submitted to LSHTM Data Compass are reviewed prior to being made available. Although we attempt to make resources available as soon as possible, please allow at least 10 working days for the review process, with more being needed for more complex resources. Several checks are performed during this time:

  1. Ethics approvals: checked to ensure no additional permissions are needed to make the resource available.
  2. Consent form: reviewed to identify any conditions on access & use that may apply.
  3. Content: checked to ensure files do not contain personal or confidential data that cannot be made available.
  4. File formats: checked for corruption and accessibility.
  5. Codebook: checked for completeness and accuracy. Any differences between values recorded in the data and codebook will be queried.
  6. Metadata: checked to confirm it is complete and understandable.

We will work with corresponding authors to identify and address potential issues.

I've published a resource. Can I update it?

Contact researchdatamanagement@lshtm.ac.uk to request an update to a published resource:

  • Metadata changes: Minor amendments are permitted be made without creating a new version, e.g. to correct spelling errors, reword content to clarify ambiguity.
  • File updates: The publication of an updated dataset may require the creation of a new version of the metadata record to ensure the correct version is cited in publications.

Where can I find LSHTM's Research Data Management resources?

Several public resources are available via the Research Data Management Guide collection page. These include:

A number of tutorials, FAQs, and other resources are also available to LSHTM staff and students on the LSHTM Sharepoint and Servicedesk intranet (login required).