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Corporate Data Access and Use Procedure

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The Access and Use of Corporate Data Procedures provides a framework for University staff and students seeking to access UON corporate data.

(2) This procedure applies to UON staff, UON students and external parties in the use of UON corporate data for such purposes as:

  1. Presentations to audiences external to the University
  2. Publication in the media
  3. Publications such as journal articles or conference papers
  4. Grant applications
  5. Other research purposes
  6. Internal reports, publications and presentations, and/or
  7. Internal quality assurance and benchmarking
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Section 2 - Intent

(3) The intent of this procedure is to provide a clear framework for the use and access of corporate data to ensure that it is used appropriately and in accordance with relevant policy and legislation.

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Section 3 - Requesting Access to Corporate Data

Process for Requesting Access to Corporate Data

(4) Refer to the Corporate Data Access Flowchart.

For Internal Quality Assurance and Benchmarking Purposes

(5) The following principles apply for data that is to be used for internal quality assurance and benchmarking purposes:

  1. Ensuring that other Institutions cannot be identified unless the information is already in the public domain. This includes the removal of any obvious attributes that may be present in the comparative data.
  2. Ensuring the minimum number of comparators are used for purposes of analysis to ensure de-identification of individuals, groups and institutions.

(6) Qualitative data should be checked to ensure de-identification and anonymity.

(7) For purposes of internal quality assurance or continuous improvement, information can be sought from Newcastle Information and Analytics (NINA) Visual Analytics Portal, the Management Information System (MIS) Portal, Faculty Quality Assurance folders, and NUSTAR, among other sources. If you are not an authorised user of NINA or the MIS, contact the Strategy, Planning and Performance Unit to discuss gaining access. For other systems, please discuss your request with your School or Unit Executive Officer, who can help provide the information.

(8) Requests that cannot be answered through these systems should be submitted via an Information Request Form. Please ensure adequate time between the request for information and the date that you require the data.

(9) Once a request for corporate data has been received via the Information Request Form, the relevant business unit will seek permission from the appropriate information owner(s), and/or DVCA where appropriate, to release the data.

(10) In situations of sensitivity, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (DVCA) will need to approve the request. Situations of sensitivity may include but are not limited to: situations that may impact on the reputation of individuals, groups, or units within the university or the university as a whole; situations involving the media; situations that may impact on the university's relationship with other institutions, groups and communities.

(11) With approval, the relevant business unit will extract the data to be provided to the requestor.

(12) If the request for data is not approved by the appropriate information owner(s), and/or DVCA where appropriate, the relevant business unit will advise the requestor that the data cannot be provided.

All Other Purposes – Excluding Media Requests

(13) For corporate data that is obtained for purposes other than internal quality assurance and benchmarking, with the goal of presenting and/or publishing externally to the university, approval must be obtained from the DVCA and research must have ethics approval where appropriate. To ensure the data is able to be extracted for the intended purposes, in-principle approval from the DVCA must first be obtained before seeking research ethics approval. Once ethics clearance has been obtained, full approval from the DVCA should then be sought.

Media Requests

(14) Marketing and Communications should be the first point of contact for any data requested for use in the media. Examples of different media requests that may require the use of corporate data include, but are not limited to, a media enquiry received from a journalist requesting data or comments relating to data, or a planned media release from the university.

(15) If the Marketing and Communications require data, they should request this from the relevant business unit (eg. Human Resource Services, SPP, Faculty, Divisions etc.), who will provide the data. Marketing and Communications will obtain approval from appropriate information owner(s) and/or the DVCA as appropriate, prior to releasing the data to the media.

Approval Process for Corporate Data Requests for External Use – Media Requests

(16) Refer to the Corporate Data (External Use) Access Flowchart.

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Section 4 - Roles and Responsibilities

(17) Any UON staff member, student or external party to whom corporate data has been supplied will be responsible for:

  1. Using the information only for the purpose as approved by the information owner and/or DVCA;
  2. Maintaining the original context and interpretation of the data; and,
  3. Ensuring that confidential or potentially sensitive information is not disclosed to any third party without approval of the information owner and/or DVCA.

(18) The person giving approval for use or access of the data will accord with and take into consideration the following:

  1. Confirmation that the research has ethics approval where appropriate;
  2. The reputational risk to the university and the sector;
  3. Privacy and/or confidentiality concerns, particularly in relation to personal information of students/staff;
  4. The amount of effort required to extract or produce the data versus the return on investment of time;
  5. Maintaining openness and the need to engage with the University's communities;
  6. Information of strategic importance or sensitivity to the University;
  7. Data is appropriately stored in accordance with University's Records and Information Management Policy and relevant legislation;
  8. All UON corporate data is attributed as such in any presentation(s) or publication(s) and the source and contribution of other relevant staff is acknowledged;
  9. Feedback is provided to the information owner on the relevant outcomes and outputs to which the data was used; and
  10. Any UON staff member or student using UON corporate data abides by the UON code of conduct.