Frequently Asked Questions
Due to their limited quantity and depletable nature, access to samples is restricted, but the data generated from them is not. We welcome collaborations that propose and support an extensive range of quality-controlled assays of all, or large numbers of, samples (e.g. GWAS, metabolomics, proteomics).
Recontacting study participants directly is not possible; no participant identifiable data will be released. CKB undertakes periodic resurveys of a subset of surviving participants and it may be possible to include new measurements at subsequent resurveys at the discretion of the CKB study group.
Data is available to bona fide researchers with a track record of peer reviewed publication working at an eligible academic institution, health service or charitable research organisation.
Proposals are initially assessed by the CKB study team. Approved projects:
- have clearly defined objectives;
- include a sound methodology that is likely to generate meaningful results;
- are based on an appropriate and available selection of data;
- have clearly defined timelines and outputs (e.g. one to two papers in peer-reviewed journals).
All rejected applications are routinely referred to the CKB Independent Access Committee. A summary of the reasons for rejection is supplied and may include recommendations for resubmission. Any dispute can be referred to Oxford Population Health's Independent Data Access Oversight Committee of or relevant committee at PKU in China.
In general, the process from initial registration to release of data may take up to 16 weeks in total including formal application, review of proposal, approval, and signing of Data Access Agreement. The stages of the process are shown in the flowchart on the data access procedures page.
In general, the data released should allow for assessment of specific questions that may lead to publication of one to two papers. It is likely therefore that the data made available may not be suitable for a major thesis (such as a PhD) but may constitute a specific component of the thesis. Students wishing to access the dataset will have to apply for access in conjunction with their supervisor.
Each application will be considered on individual merit. To avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, where there is substantial overlap between separate proposals we may suggest that researchers collaborate on a project (after seeking appropriate permissions) or modify their proposal accordingly. The CKB will not insist on collaboration; if proposals meet the criteria for approval the same data may be shared with different institutions at the same time. A list of approved and completed projects will be made available on this website to ensure that knowledge of the resource and its usage is freely available.
All CKB participants were enrolled in China and CKB applications for funding and for Chinese government approval of the project emphasised ways to strengthen research capacity in China. Having a period of privileged use for researchers based in China is consistent with this approach.
Safeguards will be maintained to ensure the anonymity and confidentiality of participants’ data. The data provided to researchers will not contain any personally identifiable variables i.e. data sets will be ‘anonymised’ with uniquely encrypted participant identifiers. Researchers must agree not to attempt to identify participants.
After signing the Data Access Agreement, the data and accompanying descriptive documentation will be generated in a choice of CSV, SAS, SPSS or R formats and released using encrypted physical media or securely via the internet.
Data are freely available to applicants from mainland China and Hong Kong. Researchers based elsewhere will incur an access charge of £2,500 (GBP) for each approved data request. This contributes to the administrative costs incurred in managing and reviewing the application, and in preparing the individual datasets.
There is no need for papers to be approved by the CKB group prior to their submission. However, we ask for copies of papers prior to formal publication so that our system can be updated accordingly. The CKB should be acknowledged in accordance with the Data Access Agreement.
At the login page enter the email address used to register your account and select the ‘Forgot your Password?’. You will be emailed a link enabling you to reset your password.
Yes, by using the save function. The Data Request and Researcher Registration forms are also available as Microsoft Word documents to enable applicants to work offline. All submitted applications are available by selecting ‘Previous Requests’ in the ‘Data Requests’ section of the Data Access System.