Published November 10, 2021 | Version v1
Poster Open

RDA Sensitive Data IG: Towards a common understanding of sensitive data across regions and disciplines

  • 1. European Research Infrastructure on Highly Pathogenic Agents
  • 2. Australian Research Data Commons
  • 3. Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, The Ohio State University
  • 4. Australian Data Archive
  • 5. University of Melbourne


This poster is presented in tandem with the Sensitive Data IG session at RDA18 (which shares the same name). In previous meetings, the Sensitive Data IG has scoped the interest and needs of the RDA community. At this meeting, we focus on specific challenges and opportunities associated with working with Sensitive Data. This poster explores one of these - how do we understand sensitive data definitions in different regions and disciplines, and how might we develop a shared language around sensitive data. For example, developing an understanding of different community agreed vocabularies and how these relate to each other. 


This poster will consist of three sections. 

First, case studies of different types of sensitive data will be presented. These will include, for example, case studies from the humanities, medicine, and military cases. 

Second, different classification systems for the level of sensitive data will be shown. This will explore, for example, what constitutes a high level of sensitive data in one classification system compared to another. 

Third, examples of how sensitive data is managed across different regions will be given. For example, what protocols govern the use of sensitive data in the Australian context compared to the European context?


By presenting these examples, this poster aims to promote wider discussion on how sensitive data is currently defined. Further, it aims to draw out how context can impact whether data is considered sensitive. In doing so, it takes steps towards developing a common language for discussing sensitive data classifications and levels across contexts/disciplines/localities. 


This poster compliments the RDA Sensitive Data IG session. It is developed by the Sensitive Data IG co-chairs and is an opportunity for us to convey our ideas and seek input from the community in a different forum.


More information and contact details for the Sensitive Data IG  available at


POSTER LEAD: Romain David (European Research Infrastructure on Highly Pathogenic Agents [ERINHA], 0000-0003-4073-7456) CO-AUTHORS (in alphabetical order): Dharma Akmon (University of Michigan, 0000-0002-1359-0586); Nichola Burton (Australian Research Data Commons, 0000-0003-4470-4846); Sarah C. Davidson (Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, The Ohio State University, 0000-0002-2766-9201); Steven McEachern (Australian Data Archive, 0000-0001-7848-4912); Kristan Kang (Australian Research Data Commons,0000-0002-2057-1033); Aleksandra Michalewicz (University of Melbourne, 0000-0002-7328-2470); Priyanka Pillai (University of Melbourne, 0000-0002-3768-8895); Hervé Raoul (ERINHA), Audrey Richard (ERINHA); Kristal Spreadborough (University of Melbourne, 0000-0002-7022-3213); Diana Stepanyan (ERINHA); Frankie Stevens (Australia's Academic and Research Network, 0000-0002-2556-473X). Presented at Research Data Alliance 18th Plenary - remotely, November 2021.



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