Rules for data use

Publication rules form an integral part of the project management. It is necessary to lay down the rules at the very beginning of the project, before the start of data collection. In this way, each partner considering his/her participation in the project will know what his/her rights are, and how his/her data might be used.

Data utilisation also needs to be determined. Who is entitled to publish the data first? Should a summary analysis from all centres be published first, followed by sub-analyses based on data from individual centres?

Also, it is convenient to determine publication plans of individual partners at the very beginning of the project. These plans can be specified precisely or relatively vaguely, depending on the type of the project.

Publication rules are usually defined by two basic ways which might be partially modified. The basic ways include:

  1. Steering committee: a defined group of people (most often 3 to 5) is entitled to give their opinion on publication plans of individual authors. This approach is suitable for projects comprising a large amount of centres (dozens to hundreds).
  2. Leaders of centres approve each output, or more precisely, use of their data for the respective output: the leaders (or charged persons) express their consent to a specific output by a specific author with a specific purpose of use. This approach is suitable for projects comprising a smaller amount of centres (a few ones to dozens).