Approval for Researchers mobility data analyzer

I’m posting a review request for the Researchers mobility data analyzer, which is applying for project approval on Open Humans.

This project on collection and analysis of researchers mobility data is very important for us and for understanding the potential of travelling researchers for regional educational projects e.g. Lecturers without borders

This project is run by Liubov Tupikina (CRI, France) with support from Delphine Clara Zemp (Göttingen University). With thank Veronica Estrada and Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, Marc Santolini for inspirations and numerous discussions on this topic.

Should this project be visible and available for all Open Humans members to join?

Please vote Approve or Deny , and/or comment.

Quick links

Thank you!

Thanks so much for posting this! I had a couple of things to note where there’s some room for improvement before launching this project:

a) i think we had discussed doing a google form for collecting some metadata about the people who share their google location history, right? that’s not implemented yet and would be good to have ready before the review finishes, so that people can see which data will be collected.

b) the description is a bit rudimentary at this point and i think people who find this project by accident will have a hard time understanding whether it’s for them or not. So maybe we could expand a bit to address: 1. what’s the larger research question? 2. who’s the target audience that we’d like to join? (not every open humans member is a traveling academic) 3. how does it relate to lewibo?

c) the consent-page one gets when trying to join currently gives “The uploaded data (Google Location History Upload) can be also accompanied by the information about the scientific field of a scientist, who travels.“ as the text. I think this should rather give some information which data the project is requesting access to and why and how the data will be used. (e.g. ‘we will ask you to give access to the google location history data and will ask for your orcid ID. this link will re-identify your own google location data to us but we will only use it for X’ or whatever the ultimate data use goal is :slight_smile: )

Dear Bastian,
I am preparing now the google form (preliminary) to collect the information about the countries
people are travelling to, which is now available here:

Moreover, we have some not so structured data on mobility of researchers from the research project I was part of
https://www.mariecuriealumni.eu/charts
this data have static information.

I am changing the project description to make it more clear and will update it soon with the google form.

Thank you again!

Hi @liubovv and welcome, it’s very cool to see new projects created on the site! :smiley:

I’ve taken the liberty of editing your original post above to point to the activity page that users will see. (Our project management pages need a layout update for usability, sorry for the confusion there.)

Here’s some issues…

1. if this is a study, we want to see some documentation of ethics board review. For example, @jasonbobe shared an IRB approval letter, thanks to a prompt from @beau, in the Resilience Project project review. Projects that aren’t research studies are allowed (this results in a warning for users notifying there was no ethics board review); if so, you should adjust the project settings to remove “study” status.

2. The terms/consent page is far too short, I think you misunderstood this section. This is expected to be a study’s “informed consent” document, or a “terms of use” equivalent for non-study projects. But when I click the “join” button I see something really short (see below image).

As @gedankenstuecke the content of this be much more. It should inform potential project members about various things, and at least needs to cover things noted by our project guidelines and review guidelines. Don’t expect them to visit the website to learn anything, the important information should be on this page.

3. Is this a proposal? or are you launching it for all users to be invited to join? The links describe a “proposal”, which makes me wonder if you’re not ready to launch. The purpose of this review is for the launch step. We don’t need to review things while they’re in development, just when it’s ready to “launch” (i.e. visible to all members, user cap lifted).

I hope this feedback helps! This doesn’t look ready yet, but the project looks very interesting. :slight_smile:

Thank you for your comments, @madprime

I reply directly to each of the comments.

  1. **this project has two directions/purposes: **
    the first direction (the main purpose) of the project is actual application of collected data from researchers~travels to be able to connect to local educational initiatives,
    but in order to understand how to reach this we need to collect and analyze examples of researchers travels, therefore:

the second direction (the second purpose) is collection and analysis of the data from travelling researchers, either full trajectories (data upload), or summary (google form, as we discussed with Bastian)

apart from this, from the project Lecturers without borders board hosted at CRI we are preparing the letter which certifies the approval (as you suggested to look at from Resilience project). I am also preparing the document from Lecturers without borders board with agreement for launching the project.

moreover there is also the publication in NetSci proceedings (on multilayer network of travelling researchers scied), where we presented the project and discussed it with network community

https://osf.io/7v9xt

  1. yes, indeed, I misunderstood it, thank you for the explanation.
    I will correct it in the project indeed, sorry, I will indeed add **“terms of use”’’, since I was mostly working with theoretical studies before.

  2. it is project for launching it for all users to be invited to join

if i understood our discussions with @bastian and @vero well, there are indeed different forms and for collection, but we thought that it could be good to launch it as a project.
so, to answer the question, this is for all OH users to join.

thank you for your comments again!

@liubovv apologies if things are still unclear…

Regarding #1: You can either (a) change this to be a “project” rather than a “study”… or (b) share evidence of ethics board approval.

If you want to do (a) and don’t know how, let me know, I can fix it for you. (It’s in the project configuration, you should be able to do it yourself.) If you want to do (b) then you have to do that.

Regarding #2: I expect to see information about the project that covers a lot more than this.

I expect the content on this to comprehensively inform potential project members. Currently it still falls far too short.

It should answer questions like:

  • why might I want to join this project? what are its goals?
  • who is running this project?
  • what will I be asked to do for this project?
  • what data will you have access to?
  • what will you do with my data? who will you share it with?

(These questions are also in the Project Review Guide.)

If the answer to question #1 is (b) this page would be your informed consent document. Otherwise, it should look similar – and you might think of it as “terms of use”. It can link to material elsewhere, but this page needs to do a good job at informing a potential project member without them needing to follow a link.

Thank you for your message, Madprime.

#1.a) Yes, I agree, that this is a project, not a study. I will change it in the status of the project.

By the way, we already did a small project-survey on this topic for researchers from one Marie-Curie project and it looked very interesting, I share the results in my research page:

https://sites.google.com/view/fellowshipresultsliubov/research-projects/lecturers-without-borders-researchers-mobility

#2. I also answer all the questions below, which hopefully will clarify why this study is important:

  • why might I want to join this project? what are its goals?

There are two main goals of the project:
first one is to understand the potential of the untapped connectedness and the connectivity of travelling researchers in the world.
second one is more practical: knowing that there is a flow of researchers from place X to place Y one can actually improve some communication between researchers and general public, using the “data analysis for social good”

  • who is running this project?

The project is organised by the group of researchers from University of Paris (CRI), Göttingen University (Biodiversity Centre) and their collaborators from the NGO Lecturers without borders.

  • what will I be asked to do for this project?

For the project you will be asked two types of complementary information :
a. google form about your travels around the world with the metadata about your professional activity (researcher/industry/etc.)
b. you can also upload the google location history + information about your professional activity.

  • what data will you have access to?

The data analysis for this project won’t use any information from the profiles of the users, just submitted information about most often taken trajectories and the information about the professional activities (researchers * non-researchers)

  • what will you do with my data? who will you share it with?

We would like to analyze the researchers’ mobility data and to understand if one could also use the untapped opportunity of travelling researchers around the world for social good (see also the publications in the project description).

Thank you.

Hi!

I just updated the project consent page here.

I will try to make it more understandable.

Bests,
L.

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Looks much better!

Is this project also adding new data into a member’s account? I see that there’s this description of added data…

“Example of the dataset collected: travel cityA → cityB of a scientist (metadata: ORCID of a scientist who travels).”

… but I wondered, this sounds like the data the project is requesting access to. Is this describing new data that this project will add into a member’s Open Humans account?

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Yes, from my understanding the goal is to also return some of the processed data :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the question!

Yes, the goal of the project is to collect both:

  • data from long-distance flights (extracted from the google geolocation data)
  • metadata (the researchers travelling) collected from the google form.

I can change it and make it clear in the project description.

Hi, everyone,

we made final changes to the project:

  1. we changed the survey form
  2. we also added more description to the project and how we plan to analyze the data. Please have a look at:
    https://www.openhumans.org/direct-sharing/projects/on-site/mobility-data-of-researchers/

Thank you for your time! :seedling:

I have an open-ended question I feel should be asked… Google Location History is pretty rich data, and potentially sensitive, isn’t it? What’s your intuition with how this data is going to be helpful beyond simple surveys of where people travel?

Also, @gedankenstuecke you’re mentioned as a project leader, is that correct? I find the long list of “leaders” confusing since my impression is that this is led by @liubovv …it’s good to know “who is in charge” for accountability (if there’s a data breach, who’s fault was it?), especially if asking for sensitive data. thanks!

Thank you @madprime for the question.

Regarding your first question about:

What’s your intuition with how this data is going to be helpful beyond simple surveys of where people travel?

The initial idea of collecting the data of researchers mobility was to explore the untapped opportunities of traveling researchers in order to help to connect them to local science outreach and citizen science projects (as we do with “Lecturers without borders” www.scied.network )

From previous small scale survey with Marie-Curie Alumni researchers we found that there are many researchers who travel between European and Asian and this can lead to new essential connections between science and science outreach projects in these countries. So, yes, we plan to go beyond the simple surveys of where people travel.
Hope I understood the point of your question.

Regarding the other one:

Also, @gedankenstuecke you’re mentioned as a project leader, is that correct? I find the long list of “leaders” confusing since my impression is that this is led by @liubovv …it’s good to know “who is in charge” for accountability (if there’s a data breach, who’s fault was it?), especially if asking for sensitive data.

Yes, we discussed the data collection for this project with @gedankenstuecke who is starting soon as CRI, also we did common jupyter notebook for future analysis of mobility data. But I agree, that I will put myself then as the main project leader, who has the responsibility for any questions and issues with this project and others I will put as collaborators, with whom we will discuss the project.
Hope that this is ok for you.

Let me know if there are any other unclear points.
:writing_hand:

One piece of feedback; this text would be much better on the project page itself (currently it only appears after you click “Join”)

Why might I want to join this project? What are its goals?

The project is investigating the main research questions:

  1. What is the potential of the untapped connectedness and the connectivity of traveling researchers in the world?
  2. How to improve the communication between researchers and general public, using the “data analysis for social good” and knowing that researchers travel from place X to place Y?

Re: Mad’s point about Google data:

I have an open-ended question I feel should be asked… Google Location History is pretty rich data, and potentially sensitive, isn’t it? What’s your intuition with how this data is going to be helpful beyond simple surveys of where people travel?

I feel like it is probably much finer-grained than needed for this project as I understand it but still may be useful, and project members should be allowed to share it if they think it will help the project… With the caveat that the project page clearly explains just how detailed Google Location History data is.

…or maybe that’s something that should happen in the description of the data source so that all projects that request it have the same level of warning, @madprime?

@beau I think it’s good to want an explanation of data sensitivity at both stages – data-source & data-recipient. Reminders are good, and data-recipient projects should demonstrate awareness of what they’re asking for.

I asked @gedankenstuecke about it: “Can’t you just ask someone to fill out a form about where they’ve been?” and he explained how hard it can be to remember all travel, and dates of travel. So, point taken. :slight_smile:

(This reminds me that we had an updated layout we would like our in-house data source projects to use to help with clarity for things like this, but not all the projects were updated to use it.)

@madprime @beau
yes, this is good point about people forgetting where they have been.
we did small studies about Marie-Curie researchers about where they travel, but it was quite small and not using any data collection methods from geolocation:

we also did notebook with @gedankenstuecke on mobility analysis which can be used for people who would like to analyse more “how” they are traveling. this notebook can be used for analysis of individual trajectories since i applied some stochastic methods for analysis of open data from openhumans.org

@beau I agree that it should be much more finer-grained, but somehow because there is no app (at least I do not know any, maybe we should create one:writing_hand: ) which records “To Which conferences or just countries you went to?” so I cannot really ask for such data.

if there is more explanation needed on “how we are going to analyze the data and use it for social good” I can certainly add it to the project description!

thank you for your time!:herb:

@liubovv I think you could address @beau’s concern by expanding information in the section: What data will you have access to?

I agree that a reminder is a good idea – in case people forgot, they should be reminded that this is detailed location data (GPS) and it is sensitive data. I don’t think you plan to use it for these purposes, but it can be used to infer the addresses of someone’s home and workplace, and the address of any other locations they visited, and the times they visited those places.

I encourage you to say this explicitly – make it clear what the data could be used for, even though you don’t plan to use it in that way. If you think this makes it “scary” you need to also explain why people should trust you. Then their decision to share it is an informed one. :slight_smile:

Dear Mad,

thank you for your answer.

I will update the text on the project in the section “What data will you have access to?”

We will analyze travel/movement history from Google Location History, along with the survey data from google-form, we will collect the meta information in google-form survey. Google form survey is optional, it adds meta information for the data provided.

The detailed location data (GPS) is a sensitive data, for this reason we will take special care of your data. The data won’t be shared with any third parties and all analysis will be done by researchers who are responsible for this project (see below). Moreover, we specify that the results of analysis of geolocation data won’t mention any information about people contributing to the project.

The results of the project “Researchers’ mobility” will help researchers and educational NGO projects (such as “Lecturers without borders” and local NGOs in developing countries), to identify places around the globe, where knowledge (lectures or seminars) can be delivered. Since most of educational NGOs worldwide do not have access to such mobility data, the project on “Researchers’ mobility” on Openhumans can help them with providing this essential additional information based on the depersonalized data analysis.

Thanks for your comments on the updated project https://www.openhumans.org/direct-sharing/projects/on-site/mobility-data-of-researchers/

Thanks @liubovv but I apologize if this wasn’t clear, I’m suggesting you should explicitly say what the data could be used for. Which is to say, include a statement like this:

This data is potentially sensitive, as it could theoretically be used to infer the addresses of your home and workplace, and the address of any other locations you visited, and the times you visited those places.

or something like that. I don’t think it’s enough to say it’s “sensitive”.