What Is a Sharing Agreement?

A sharing agreement is a legally binding and formal agreement that correctly captures and categorizes shared data while also defining how it will be used. Sharing agreements serve two purposes: first, they protect the entity that gives the information by providing data misuse protections; and second, they protect the business that receives the information by providing data sharing agreements. First and foremost, it helps to avoid instances of miscommunication between a supplier and an agency responsible for gathering knowledge by properly addressing its use with both parties. Prior to beginning the Sharing process, the supplier and the sharer meet in person or by phone to discuss data sharing and data usage concerns that may arise. The approach establishes a Collaborative Arrangement, which will be included in the data-sharing agreement as part of the data-sharing agreement. Several stipulations pertaining to the sharing and distribution of information are included in the agreement. In addition, it is recommended that you avoid engaging in these actions that attempt to divulge personal or private information.

Other templates are available on  our website, and you can use them whenever you need them. They are as follows: shared services agreement, supply agreement, case report, service delivery plan, internal audit checklist, land sale agreement, share purchase agreement, security incident report, commercial lease proposal, work accident report, and other similar templates are available.

Elements of a Sharing Agreement

A sharing agreement focuses on different elements of information sharing between two entities, a provider and a sharer, and is composed of several clauses. You will discover general aspects of a sharing agreement, as well as their individual explanations, further down on this page. Individually, each sharing agreement is distinct and incorporates some, if not all, of the components listed below. Each of the following items must be identified by researchers or data suppliers before the agreement can be signed.

Details of authorized entity sharing data: Identify the organization or individuals responsible for providing authorized data as requested for research. The researchers also begin discussions of data use with entities that provide the information while negotiating with another organization or individual for permission on data usage. The data-sharing agreement must hold legal authorization in the form of signatures from the data-providing agencies.Information on the Authorized Entity: Find out who is responsible for providing the authorized data that has been requested for research and who is in charge of doing so. In addition, the researchers initiate negotiations about data use with the entities that give the information while negotiating with another organization or individual for permission to utilize the information. In order to be legally binding, the data-sharing agreement must be signed by representatives of the data-providing organizations. You should also see our tender proposal.Information About the Organization: The agreement specifies the contact information for the lead researcher who will be responsible for requesting the data, as well as the contact information for the research organization that has the legal authority to sign the data-sharing agreement to ensure that all provisions and regulations under the arrangement have been met. You should also see our business lease proposal.Project Contacts and Researchers: The data-sharing agreement must include useful information, such as a list of state agencies and the research team’s contact information, among other things. Aside from that, it is recommended to include the contact information of the research staff members who will be responsible for accessing the data. In addition, the contract must include a modification procedure for changing, eliminating, or adding contacts and members of the research team in the event that the team’s composition changes throughout the length of the agreement.The Request for Information: On the agreement, there must be a clear and concise statement of the purpose of the research as well as an outline of the research questions. The section also includes a list of the specific benefits that the project will provide to the state agency. It will be easier to reach and agree on data-sharing conditions for projects that are aligned with the needs of an organization as a result of this.Request for Data Elements: Academic researchers and governmental organizations collaborate to categorize the data items that are needed to answer the list of research questions that have been compiled. It also contains a schedule of necessary data in months and years, which will assist the state agency in identifying the data sets that contain the information. In addition, the portion of the data-sharing agreement comprises the title and formatting of the data element, as well as the data sets in which the data element is included. In the case of the production of new data sets, the document specifies who is responsible for the data set’s development. Some research efforts necessitate the connecting of data from numerous projects or databases across multiple projects or databases. It must define a detailed method for data connecting databases, as well as the organization accountable for carrying out the process. The section also lists the documentation, in the form of a user guide or instructional handbook, that the state agency makes available to researchers in order for them to better comprehend the different types of data.The Length of Data Utilization: Both parties must agree on a specific schedule, which must include the date on which the agreement will come to an end. The agreed-upon finish date must provide the researching team with the time to examine relevant data, write written reports, and handle any extra queries or data analysis that may arise. Data use might last for few months or several years, depending on the terms of the arrangement. You should also see our financial audit checklist.Security Rules and Expectations: When it comes to data management, storage, and administration, the data-sharing agreement must include information on security safeguards and procedures. It must describe the procedures for handling and managing personally identifiable information (PII) as well as the methods by which the research team intends to protect this information. The agreement must adhere to any agency- or state-specific data security rules that may be in place. The obligation for dealing with these norms and provisions is transferred to the research team that is now in charge of the data collection. It must also indicate the people or entity that are in charge of processing the supplied information. In addition, for security reasons, the agreement might include a restriction on the number of persons who can access the material while still working on the research project.Parties’ Respective Roles and Responsibilities: Among the roles of the organizations include sponsoring work, combining data sets, addressing queries, and creating norms and laws for hiding findings, among other things.Compensation: Unless the research organization intends to provide any type of pay to agency personnel who assist with the study, this must be specified explicitly in the agreement. Although it is not required, it must be taken into consideration if the agency employee is not getting employment compensation.Ownership of Final Sharing: Following the completion of a finished report or research project, the document specifies who will be the owner of the final data collection. If additional factors are discovered, the agreement specifies whether or not the research team will make its findings available to the state agency. Similarly, the state agency has the option of requesting a copy of these variables.Pre-Publication Review and Approval: State agencies retain the authority to evaluate and approve reports, articles, and any other publications before they are made public. In addition, an agreement must be in place between the agency and the organization outlining the review process itself. You should also see our security bid proposal.Approval: The agreement must include any other approvals that are required, such as approval from the Institutional Review Board, as well as the party that is seeking approval from the Institutional Review Board.  You should also see our bookkeeping agreement.Protocol for Reporting a Breach: Make certain that the agreement has a detailed mechanism for dealing with security breaches of contract and other concerns related to data usage; this is especially important when dealing with personally identifiable information (PII). You should also see our contractor bid forms.Expectations about the Disposal of Spent Data: Regulations in each state govern data deletion in a secure manner, including the usage of certain software applications for data removal from a computer. The governmental agency and the research team in charge of the study must devise a strategy for destroying information by the project’s conclusion.

How to Write a Sharing Agreement

Administrative data research necessitates a close working connection between the researchers and the organization in charge of the data. Here is a step-by-step method to successfully working with a governmental agency.

  • 1. Research Issues Necessitate the Collection of Relevant Data

    Identifying the data pieces required to answer research questions is the first stage in creating a data-sharing agreement. The data is scattered over several databases, therefore it’s a good idea to compile a list of the necessary information. When combining data sets, the parties involved must determine who is in charge of starting the process and how the merger will be completed. Consult with an agency employee who has had past expertise in data retrieval and data gathering.

  • 2. Define Organizations in Charge of Data Management and Ownership

    To answer research questions, researchers must determine which agency or entity has and administers the data pieces. There may be several criteria for safeguarding data sets if it is held by more than one institution. The principal researcher must create numerous data-sharing agreements for local authorities if the data they need are located there.

  • 3. Indicate Who Is in Charge of Drafting, Reviewing, and Approving the Agreement for the Use of Resources

    Researchers and employees of the agency work together to create, evaluate, sign, and accept the agreement’s terms and conditions. You can identify and resolve Legal Concerns and Provisions if the organization has legal experts that can assist in the drafting process. To design and implement the agreement, researchers and agency employees need to establish a time frame that everyone can follow.

  • 4. The Sharing Agreement should be Drafted

    Use a pre-existing form for a data-sharing agreement as a starting point. Follow the template and procedures provided by the state agency in charge of storing the data components. The state agency should draft the data sharing agreement if one does not already exist. Using data-sharing agreements from those who have used them before is a good idea. The legal department can also be consulted everyday to identify and address concerns. Keep an eye on federal laws governing the use of administrative data, because they might change at any time.

  • 5. Distribute Copies of the Proposed Contract

    Data-sharing agreements must be reviewed by both parties after the first draft is completed. The researchers and the agency must make any required changes to the agreement if any queries or issues emerge. Set up a meeting to talk about any problems you’re encountering.

  • 6. Complete the Agreement and Collect Approval Signatures

    After all questions, objections, and amendments have been resolved, the agreement must be signed by authorized representatives from both parties.

Sharing through platforms refer to the capacity to exchange streams of data in a variety of forms, applications, and locations with other parties. A variety of topics are covered on a number of different servers around the network, with the ability to alter its material restricted by software locking measures in place. Sharing has become increasingly important as new technologies have been developed and deployed.


Is a sharing agreement contract legally binding?

As long as the data usage, protection, and confidentiality security standards are satisfied, data-sharing agreements do not need to be legally enforceable.

Personal data collection does not always require consent. It can only be done when businesses have legitimate motives to use data.

Why share data?

Data sharing makes data available on demand. However, data sharing improves discoverability, citability, and stability for both researchers and students.

Sharing takes time and effort to complete. Researchers must appreciate the importance of building trust with data providers. For the agreement to be successful, they must create lists, cite research topics, and contact an expert. The data provider’s rules and provisions should be followed to the letter if an agency supplies a template. The item above offers over 50 sharing agreement examples for usage and download.