DataSHIELD community structure and governance

During the DataSHIELD conference 2021, the assembled community members agreed the community structure shown in the figure.

DataSHIELD had previously been organised using a ``benevolent dictator’’ model of governance - that is, with a single Principal Investigator (PI) responsible for all aspects of project governance. In recent years, the DataSHIELD community has expanded to encompass a broad range of members from diverse backgrounds. The new structure agreed at the conference is orientated towards supporting the needs of research consortia and other end user organisations of DataSHIELD through the outputs of infrastructural and statistical tools, alongside the provision of support (for example, via workshops, the use of written and multimedia materials, and a discussion forum). End user organisations are assumed to comprise one or more PIs, data controllers (with legal responsibility for the data being analysed), engineers (to implement and maintain infrastructure) and researchers (who are involved in data analysis).

Different areas of DataSHIELD work are gathered together into ‘themes’ from which outputs (infrastructural and statistical tools, and support) are produced. Broad oversight of the themes is provided by two core groups covering the technical and process aspects of the community’s requirements. Leads from these groups will then feed into a Steering Committee which has overall responsibility for the project governance; in turn, the Steering Committee is supported by the DataSHIELD Advisory Board.