The Office of the Vice Provost for Research, in partnership with the Office for Sponsored Programs, Information Security, The Office of Human Research Administration, and the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects, is pleased to announce the roll-out of the Acquired Data Management and Accountability System (ADAMS).  ADAMS is an online management system for Data Use Contracts and Data Security Worksheets.   The introduction of this system is part of broader efforts to reduce the administrative burden on faculty and researchers.

Developed at Harvard, ADAMS will be in beta testing starting December 1st.    ADAMS will allow researchers to electronically submit Data Use contracts and worksheets for local and university level review. The system is integrated with Institutional Review Board system, ESTR and will populate basic study information, reducing duplicative data entry and allowing for a concurrent review.   Moreover,

    • ADAMS can be customized on the branch level
    • Administrators and assistants can manage data by proxy for faculty
    • Data Security Level 3 can be approved at the local/school level
    • PIs can manage contracts and approvals via a searchable database
    • The system aggregates metadata throughout the research lifecycle
    • Additional planning tools and contract templates are available through the system

The ADAMS database houses metadata of each acquired research data set held by researchers as an electronic record. It does not house the data itself.   

ADAMS will be incorporated into the research lifecycle. The submission of a DUA (or any contract that includes terms of use for acquired data) for institutional review and data security will be done through the database where it will get a quick review at the local branch level (School Information Security and/or Research Administration) before being forwarded to the University level approver (OSP, SPA, HUIT). *Note that level 3 information security worksheets can be approved at the local level without being forwarded to HUIT.  All HRDSP information security worksheets will also be uploaded and approved through ADAMS.

Workflow management is streamlined through ADAMS via integration with the ESTR system.  Once the IRB has determined the HRDSP level to be level 3 or higher (during review or upon approval) for a data set the investigator will be prompted to log into ADAMS and complete some research data specific questions and upload the DUA and HRDSP worksheet for respective approver review.  If there is a local branch approval process the submission will be forwarded to that group, if not the submission will be forwarded to HUIT for HRDSP approval and concurrently to SPA/OSP for contract review.  When the IT review is completed an automatic notice will go back to ESTR from ADAMS. 

The workflow function in ADAMS allows all approval partners and researchers to track the approval process without having to send numerous emails.  There are many notation options if, for instance, OSP must send the agreement to OTD this can be noted in the workflow comments. 

This database will also allow investigators, branches or approvers to quickly answer questions about expiring data use agreements, reuse of data, retention dates and indicate where the data are available for any sponsor or journal public access requirements.

ADAMS also serves as an electronic repository for the documents relating to the data, DUA, amendments, data management plans, data retention plans and certificates of data destruction. 

If you are interested in piloting ADAMS in your department or school, please contact Ara Tahmassian for more information.