EDUCAUSE Research Policy

Research Standards

EDUCAUSE research must be conducted only for the purposes of advancing EDUCAUSE's core mission and strategic priorities and for the benefit of its members and the broader higher education community.

EDUCAUSE research content and resources are focused on providing members and the higher education community with (1) promising pathways to a better future for higher education, (2) practicable insights that lead to direct action, and (3) opportunities for peer-based learning and meaningful peer connections.

The success of research at EDUCAUSE depends on a professional atmosphere in which freedoms of inquiry, thought, expression, and publication are given the fullest protection within the bounds of EDUCAUSE policies and the agreed-upon terms of each project. The expression of viewpoints and the sharing of research findings should be free from internal or external influence or coercion.

EDUCAUSE staff and external project partners engaged in conducting research on behalf of the association will take every precaution to ensure that research practices follow established professional ethics pertaining to the health, safety, privacy, and other personal rights of human research subjects.

EDUCAUSE will disclose in its research reports and other products any circumstances pertaining to its research that could potentially lead to conflict of interest, real or apparent, or which may otherwise exert influence on the implementation or outcomes of that research. This includes all grant- and corporate-funded research.

Research Governance

The general strategic directions, priorities, and management of EDUCAUSE's research portfolio will be subject to ongoing review and guidance from our Analytics & Research Advisory Group. The Advisory Group will consist of a panel of EDUCAUSE members representing diverse perspectives and professional settings and will include a chaired Research Subcommittee charged with ongoing oversight of EDUCAUSE's Research function.

EDUCAUSE will subject all research proposals, instruments, and deliverables to rigorous internal quality control reviews. These reviews will include input from EDUCAUSE program communities and, when appropriate, member groups and other external parties invested in that research. 

EDUCAUSE's Vice President of Communities & Research, Sr. Director of Analytics & Research, and Director of Research will assume primary responsibilities and oversight for determining appropriate allocations of Research project funds, staff resources, and project deliverables.

Data Ownership and Protection

EDUCAUSE asserts ownership over research data for projects conducted by EDUCAUSE staff, under the auspices of EDUCAUSE, and/or with EDUCAUSE resources.

Research data are to be accessible to EDUCAUSE research and project staff, as well as to external collaborators and others as appropriate (e.g., for sponsored project reporting requirements or for journal, conference, and publication submissions).

EDUCAUSE research and project staff will take every measure to ensure the confidentiality of research data, where appropriate, and will comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations as they pertain to the ownership and protection of personal data.

All EDUCAUSE research original data and derivative datasets will be stored on a secure server accessible only to EDUCAUSE staff and project stakeholders provided with unique and (when appropriate) limited-term credentials and permissions.

For sponsored projects, EDUCAUSE research data must be retained and securely stored for a minimum of three years after final project reporting and deliverables have been submitted. For non-sponsored projects, data must be retained and securely stored for a minimum of three years after the project has ended. Circumstances may warrant retaining data for shorter or longer periods of time, as agreed upon by project leadership.

Sponsored Research

EDUCAUSE sponsored research will honor and support the value of the EDUCAUSE corporate membership community as full and active contributors to industry thought leadership and to advancing EDUCAUSE's core mission and strategic priorities.

EDUCAUSE sponsored research will adhere to the core standards of EDUCAUSE's general research, namely that it be conducted for the purposes of advancing EDUCAUSE's core mission and strategic priorities, and for the benefit of its members and the broader higher education community.

EDUCAUSE sponsored research will be subject to the same general governance and quality standards expected of all EDUCAUSE research as outlined elsewhere in this document. EDUCAUSE research and project staff reserve the right to correct or suspend sponsored research activities, data, findings, or deliverables failing to meet these standards.

EDUCAUSE research and project staff will inform EDUCAUSE leadership and project stakeholders in advance of project sponsorship of any special relationship that they have or intend to have with a sponsor.

All reports, content, and other deliverables derived from sponsored research will be clearly and appropriately designated and labeled as such to ensure transparency and full disclosure with the general EDUCAUSE membership and readership.

All sponsored research collaborations between EDUCAUSE staff and sponsor staff will be characterized by open and honest inquiry, shared interests and goals for the benefit of the higher education community, and objectivity and transparency in project findings and deliverables.

EDUCAUSE will not engage in sponsored research expressly for the purposes of product development/testing, marketing, sales, or other similar purposes that primarily serve the business interests of a corporate partner. All sponsored research will be conducted in a manner that maintains EDUCAUSE's objectivity and product neutrality as a project partner.

Creative Commons

Unless specified otherwise, any and all works of authorship produced from EDUCAUSE Research are published under the terms of an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license.