Support #2043

Legality of sharing Understanding Society data

Added by Michael Mahony 3 months ago. Updated about 2 months ago.

Data management
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I am a final year PhD student who is very close to submission. As part of my research, I have reconstructed monthly retrospective data from across the Understanding Society survey into a single database of 100,000+ occupational sequences.

Constructing this database was very time consuming and I believe the complexity of this task prevents many researchers from using the retrospective data available within the Understand Society survey. As part of my thesis submission, I was therefore hoping to share this dataset on a public GitHub repository. The data frame would include participants’ unique ID (pidp) and their monthly occupational activities between the years 1900-2020.

I am aware this may be a breach of the end user licence agreement, and so was hoping to get some clarification on the legality of sharing this data. Specifically:

1) Is it a breach of the End User License agreement for me to share this data on a public repository?

2) If so, is there any way for me to share this data that would not be a breach of the End User License agreement or broader data protection laws?

Many thanks in advance for your time,



Data Sharing Note_Sept 2023_v2.1.pdf (283 KB) Data Sharing Note_Sept 2023_v2.1.pdf Understanding Society User Support Team, 01/30/2024 04:12 PM

Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team 3 months ago

Hello Michael,
The only way to share information with other people (considering they are registered in the UKDS) is under the assumption that they are working with you on the same project. A more straightforward approach to managing data-sharing concerns is to exchange code rather than datasets. I’ve attached guidance on “Sharing data ethically and securely: A note for UKHLS data users” to provide additional insights into this matter. However, it's important to note that this guidance primarily pertains to sharing information within your research team.

Alternatively, the UK Data Service offers a Self-deposit data to ReShare option, allowing researchers to archive, publish and share research data. For more information, please refer to these links and

I hope this information is helpful.

Best wishes,
Roberto Cavazos
Understanding Society User Support Team


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team about 2 months ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Resolved
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