Research Collaboration Best Practices


The Digital Media and Learning Initiative (“DML Initiative”) is a funding initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that aims to determine how digital media are changing the way people—especially young people—learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life. As part of the DML Initiative, the Foundation has funded the DML Hub, a research project at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

One role of the DML Hub is to develop shared policies, infrastructures, and resources to facilitate research collaboration and outreach for the DML field. Networked collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and insight across disciplines and organizations is crucial to the growth of DML as an interdisciplinary field. In order to support these collaboration and sharing practices, it is important to establish transparent policies on the sharing of data by grantees of the MacArthur Foundation and third parties who may wish to access the data created by Foundation grantees. The following documents detail the formal data sharing and Dropbox use policies in order to provide an infrastructure for collaboration among DML funded researchers. These resources are general guidelines and will continue to evolve as we find and create new ways of supporting collaboration.

DML Hub Data Sharing Policy
In-depth data sharing policy and procedures document, produced by the legal staff of the DML Hub. Includes the rationale behind sharing, how data will be shared, limited exceptions to sharing, how data can be used, and specific data sharing practices.

Dropbox Sharing and Attribution
Quick reference document of how to use, share and attribute within Dropbox.

Sample Data Sharing IRB Language
Contains sample data sharing language pulled out of approved IRB protocols. These are provided to help guide new researchers through the IRB approval process.

Dedoose Data Sharing and Attribution
Quick reference document for how to properly share and analyze data within Dedoose.

Fieldnote Template
Reference document with guidelines for how to name and what information to include when taking fieldnotes. These are provided for continuity across projects.