Error in Wilson et al. (2017)?


the first sentence in the paragraph from Wilson et al (2017) below does not make sense to me. Should it say negotiated instead of negated?

Best, Wilmar

“Crucially, the use of DataSHIELD for vertically partitioned data can be negated if the data owners can authorise a pseudonymised version of the linked datasets to be sited with one of the data owners, or at a trusted third party facility such as the UK Secure eResearch Platform (UKSeRP) operated by Swansea University for the Farr Institute (Jones et al. 2004). In such a case, only a single-site DataSHIELD implementation would need to be implemented to provide a privacy-protected analysis mechanism.”

Reference: Wilson, R. C., Butters, O. W., Avraam, D., Baker, J., Tedds, J. A., Turner, A., … Burton, P. R. (2017). DataSHIELD – New Directions and Dimensions. Data Science Journal , 16 , 21. DOI:


It basically mean „is not needed“.

If a trusted third party merges all data of all sites where each site has only parts of information per Individuum (so vertically partitioned data), this trusted third party can use the standard DataSHIELD for horizontal partitioning to protect individual level data.

Best, Daniela


Your comment is fair. DataSHIELD may not be needed for one cohort. However, if the data governance does not allow direct access to the data, DataSHIELD can overcome this issue. Perhaps it needed to be explained a bit more clearly. :slight_smile: