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Tuesday 27th June 2017

Institute of Child Health

United Kingdom


Data sharing is widely recognised as being a key driver to reinforcing open scientific enquiry and being a conduit to stimulating new investigations and analysis. International efforts in data sharing are growing, with growing numbers of data repositories and is currently most prevalent amongst life scientists, particularly those in the earth and environment, agriculture and food sciences areas.

The Information Commissioners Data Sharing Code of Practice states that under the right circumstances and for the right reasons, data sharing across and between organisations can play a crucial role in providing a better, more efficient service to customers in a range of sectors – both public and private. However, this is an area laden with complexities and challenges. It requires responsible sharing of information, such as having fit-for-purpose governance frameworks and this is even more critical where sometimes the merging of datasets can mean that private or potentially sensitive information about peoples’ lives may be revealed.  Additionally, issues around data use are also complicated, as data collection and use affects people all the time and individuals will have very different views about this depending on the way it is used and the benefits.

This event therefore sought to explore issues and opportunities around data sharing and the development of appropriate frameworks towards world leading standards and best practice in data governance.

Aims and Objectives

This afternoon workshop embedded within the UCL Theory of Big Data conference  explored the area of big data and data sharing. The programme was targeted at a broad audience of users who deal with personal data and are looking for ways to share this data. Therefore, talks highlighted experiences and challenges from collaborative research and data sharing, such as effective practices for interagency working which can lead to effective interventions, as well as opportunities for new cross-industry collaborations.

The programme of talks covered the following areas:

  • Big data and data sharing
  • Methodological challenges and innovations
  • Ethical, legal, privacy and public acceptability issues and the governance mechanisms needed
  • Improving information sharing – interagency and cross-industry opportunities and challenges

This workshop brought together perspectives from both researchers and end-users, with opportunities for discussion about common challenges, future research directions and possible data sharing collaborations. It was of interest to a wide range of communities including data holders, researchers, privacy practitioners and anyone with an interest in data sharing and governance, including:

  • Government, policy makers, regulatory authorities and statisticians
  • Commercial organisations in the financial, retail, telecommunications, transport, utilities and other data intensive environments
  • Researchers from various areas including biomedical health, social/economic


The workshop took place at the University College London, Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. The Institute is located in Guildford Street, London WC1.  Please see the link for directions and further information.

Downloadable map available here:


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