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Resources :: Guide :: Research in an educational setting :: Collecting data in an educational setting :: Archival data

Archival Data

Archival data are data that have already been collected either for another study or evaluation, as part of a classroom exercise, or for record-keeping purposes. For example, using previous grades or other information from a student’s record may provide valuable insight into your data.  However, even though you may have access to a student’s records as part of your teaching privileges, you do not have the same access as a researcher, thus you need to obtain permission to access this information from the appropriate administrator. The key factor is whether your collection of these records could pose any risk to the individual.  This question is typically decided by the information collected and whether it can be linked back to the individual.  The IRB is generally allowed to exempt the use of archival data if it is stripped of identifiers.  If the data can be linked to the individual, you may be obligated to contact the individual and obtain consent to use their data. If you are using student records, you will have further legal obligations under FERPA and the Virginia code (if your study is conducted in another state, you should research that state’s laws regarding the use of student records). 

Please note that if you are only collecting archival data, you can use the Archival Data protocol form.

Section Topics

De-identified Data Sets
Data Sets with Identifiers

Additional Topics

Archival Data
Student Records

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