Data Access Controls Review: outcome of consultation and plans for implementation
Over the past six months, the NBN Trust has been consulting with data providers and data users about a proposal to change the Data Access Controls with the aim of increasing biodiversity data use, generating better feedback to data providers, improving the performance of the Gateway, and generally making the system more flexible and easy to use.
The consultation took the form of an online survey, a forum on the NBN website and correspondence and meetings with individual data providers. The NBN Board of Trustees and Strategy Implementation Group were updated and consulted at key stages in the process.
We received an excellent level of response and gathered useful feedback which has had considerable influence on the review process. We have revised the original proposal in response to input from data providers and users, and we now plan to implement the new system of Data Access Controls in October 2012.
Here we present a summary of the changes which will be implemented later this year
Keep up to date
You can find out about the latest changes to the data access controls as well as comment by logging into the NBN or ALERC forums.
The prototype was available from May to the beginning of October, to enable data providers and data users to familiarise themselves with the new system before the changes are implemented and to help them to consult with their recording community. The prototype has now been discontinued to allow its use for testing pusposes.
In order to achieve a smooth transition to the new system, we will set up a ‘new public user’ account on the NBN Gateway, which will enable dataset administrators to use the existing access controls to define the level of public access they will grant for each of their datasets under the new system. Dataset administrators will receive an e-mail about this in due course.
Throughout the consultation, we received very positive feedback from all sectors. One data provider said: “I welcome the proposals and I welcome the consultation that has been taking place and the opportunity for LRCs to voice their views... [I] do not anticipate damage to our operations as a result of the collective changes proposed”. A research user said: “The single most frustrating part of downloading data for predictive modelling work has been this process [of collating data from multiple spreadsheets]. Otherwise the NBN has been very useful for downloading and disseminating - and with these changes such as improved access this is likely to become even more useful. Ideally this could be the most efficient way of us sharing our data to other organisations!”
We also heard many concerns and suggestions for improvements, and have done our best to address these. We are always available to discuss concerns and answer questions that may arise as you try out the prototype system and consult with your data providers in order to reach a decision on how to apply the new system of access controls to the datasets that you administer.
If you need any help or have any comments please contact Paula Lightfoot, the NBN Trust's Data Access Officer.
Previous news items
Below you will find links to previous news items about the Data Access Controls consultation:
10th October 2011: Launch of the first round of consultation and explanation of the reasons for the proposed changes. Documents available to download: ‘complete list of proposals’, ‘FAQs’ and ‘list of questions from the online survey’.
14th December 2011: Results of the first round of consultation. Summary of changes to the proposals in response to feedback received.
15th February 2012: Launch of the second round of consultation. Release of flow charts with screen shots to illustrate how the proposed new system of access controls would work. Documents available to download: ‘downloading data’, ‘applying to download a whole dataset’ and ‘applying for enhanced access’.