Using ICPSR’s Virtual Data Enclave (VDE)


Hello. This video is required viewing for
anyone accessing ICPSR’s Virtual Data Enclave, or VDE. At the end of this video
you will be asked a short series of questions to verify your understanding
of the concepts in the training. You must complete this video and these questions
before using the VDE. In this video I will describe appropriate usage and
behaviors for folks operating within the virtual environment as well as the
process for removing material and information from the VDE. ICPSR’s VDE, or Virtual Data Enclave, is an online environment that behaves like a standard
Windows-based computer but is in fact stored at ICPSR. The VDE is isolated from
the user’s physical desktop, Internet access, and any network connections,
preventing users from emailing, copying, or otherwise moving files into or out of
the secure environment. Approved VDE users log in to this computer remotely
from workspaces approved by ICPSR, using software provided to them once they are
approved. This software allows them to log into the VDE and access the
particular restricted data they requested. Inside the VDE is a suite of
office and statistical software packages that can be used for data analysis and
related research activities. It is critical for you to be aware of the
kinds of things that you have agreed in the Data Use Agreement not to do. In
general, you cannot remove any information from the VDE without it
being vetted first by ICPSR staff. This includes information that you may not
think of as sensitive or disclosive. Both you and ICPSR are bound by legal
agreements that require ICPSR to vet all information before it can leave the
virtual environment. Violations of your Data Use Agreement include: -Viewing data
on your screen and then recording a data point, a calculation, or other information into a notebook or other place outside of the
VDE. -Taking a screenshot or photograph of your screen; whether with software or
with your phone or other camera, creating images of your screen is prohibited.
-Submitting tables or other output for publication that have been transcribed
from the VDE before being reviewed by ICPSR. -Using the VDE from a location that
ICPSR has not explicitly approved. -Sharing login and password information
with other individuals — even other approved VDE users should never use
someone else’s login credentials. Additionally, only individuals who have
been approved by ICPSR AND who hold a license to access the VDE are
permitted to access and view the virtual environment. This means that colleagues, graduate students, family members, strangers, etc.
cannot be allowed or inadvertently permitted to view your computer screen
when the VDE is visible. This is why we require that all approved users identify
a single private office in which they will use the VDE. This allows you to have
more control over who is within view of your screen — only approved users
associated with your project. Once you have received your vetted output from
ICPSR, you are free to share it with unlicensed team members and with the
general public. The consequences of violations such as these may include:
-Temporary or permanent removal of your access to the data. -Prohibition from
accessing restricted data from ICPSR in the future. -We may contact your
institutional representative and/or other leadership at your institution. -We
may report violations to funding agencies and data owners who may in turn
implement additional sanctions. -And, there may be further sanctions for your
institution, who is a signatory to your legal agreement, and for you. Behavior that is consistent with
appropriate use of the VDE includes: -Taking all notes within the VDE and NOT
on paper, and doing all of your analysis and writing within the virtual
environment. -Sharing unvetted information only with other approved users on your
project and only within the VDE. -Keeping your login credentials private. -And only
logging into the VDE when you are in the office you describe to ICPSR when
applying for data access. We are often asked if and when it is appropriate for
two individuals who collaborate on a single research project within the VDE,
to discuss their project face-to-face. You should know that as long as both
individuals are listed as project team members in association with the Data Use
Agreement, they can discuss the project in one of their approved private offices
that they use to connect to the VDE. They can look at the screen together. If
someone is in the office who is not listed as I described before, the team
members must stop discussing the project and stop working in the VDE. Approved
team members collaborating from different locations are permitted to
talk to one another via telephone as long as they are each in their approved
offices and take all necessary precautions to ensure that no one but approved team members can hear the conversation. When you are ready to
remove research output from the virtual environment for publication or
presentation, please follow these steps. First, review the output for potential
disclosure risk. Rules and resources for disclosure review can be found on ICPSR’s
website and you can always contact us for guidance. Second, place the output you
are interested in removing into the designated Output Review folder within the VDE. And third, submit your request for review
to ICPSR, following the instructions given to you when your access was
approved. Remember that those instructions indicate that you should
never include un-cleared output within the text of your email request to ICPSR. Thank you for watching this video. We are excited about
the work that you will do within the VDE and are standing by to answer your
questions. Now that you have finished this video, don’t forget to click the
arrow at the bottom right of your screen to complete the quiz. Once those
questions have been submitted, you have met your VDE training obligation.

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