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Data Agreements

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Data Use Agreements (DUAs) generally cover rights to use data, confidentiality, and data protection. Access to large data sets is a key component of research at Stanford. Often, the data providers or recipients require a signed written agreement. Data Agreements are different from Material Transfer Agreements, which generally involve the transfer of tangible laboratory materials such as reagents, cell lines or mice.

The following Stanford offices can help researchers navigate agreements for incoming or outgoing data:

  • Agreements with industry should be sent to the Industrial Contracts Office, using the ICO Intake Form.
  • Agreements with government or non-profit entities are handled by the Office of Sponsored Research.
  • Agreements to purchase or store data are handled by the Procurement Office. All Procurement requests must be submitted through iProcurement.

Data Agreements that involve University commitments to provide or receive data sets are negotiated and signed by one of the above contracting offices. For more information on handling Data Agreements and who is authorized to sign, please see the guidance on DoResearch from the Vice Provost and Dean of Research.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are Data Agreements necessary?

Any time Stanford is exchanging data with a company, a DUA is required per Stanford policies, especially if the PI plans on sharing identifiable data.  A DUA is always needed when the data is being used in a study, especially in a study requiring IRB approval. 

2. What if no data will come into Stanford systems, but I'm accessing another entity's database?

A DUA is still required when accessing another entity's database. However, terms related to security standards will not be needed.