Data Security

Scholars whose datasets are approved as being relevant to Atlantic slavery and of good quality by a rotating editorial committee will be able to obtain the benefits of preserving their data and using the site’s digital tools while they initially analyze their data privately. Scholars will have the option to make their datasets inaccessible to others (in a password-protected section of the digital repository) for a period of time to be decided by the editorial committee. Although the project is founded on the principle that broad sharing of data is valuable to humanities scholarship, we recognize that scholars often need to publish articles and books based on data they have collected over a considerable period of time. Sensitive to this concern, we want to ensure that scholars (especially outside the U.S.) do not see this project as an attempt to “grab” data. Scholars will be assured that the ASDN site will back up their data on multiple servers and make it accessible to them anywhere in the world in an easy-to-analyze fashion. Once these scholars have made private use of material they have collected for the time period established by the Slave Biographies project, their datasets will be opened along with the other datasets on the Slave Biographies site for use by scholars and the public. We envision that allowing scholars to “stage” their data releases will help them to move towards open access.

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