Access Controls

As has been highlighted in previous posts, most projects about data publication in the research field have come across the problem that while researchers believe in publishing / sharing data in principle, they have lots of reasons not to do it in practice.  This is a much larger problem than can be addressed in one project, so we’ve decided to work around the problem as much as possible by providing access controls within MeCAT that support publishing data immediately, restricting access either indefinitely or until criteria are met, or sharing on an individual basis.

The set of use cases that we’re using as the basis of the Access Control design are listed below.

The Data Owner has the ability to grant and remove access privileges to the data owned.  The Data Owner will typically be the Principle Investigator or a representative of the Institution.

  • Publicly Accessible
    The data is made publicly available immediately, e.g. data that will become part of a reference database.
  • Accessible by the Data Owner and assigned team members
    Team members may be assigned individually or as a group.
  • Access granted by the Data Owner
    E.g. as a result of direct contact by another researcher.
  • Accessible by anyone at a given physical location, typically the instrument
  • Publicly Accessible after an embargo period, e.g. 3 years
  • Publicly Accessible after a trigger, e.g. paper is published
  • Accessible by facility scientist.  Facility scientists typically have access to all data from the instrument they are responsible for.

I’ll cover the design we’re proposing to support these use cases in a subsequent entry, and am interested in any feedback on these use cases.

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