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Guidelines for Developing Data Sharing Agreements to Use State Administrative Data for Early Care and Education Research

This resource is intended to provide guidance to early childhood researchers to prepare data sharing agreements related to the use of administrative data from state agencies. A data sharing agreement is a formal document of agreement between two entities that specifies the conditions under which data are to be shared. Data sharing agreements typically specify what (and how) data will be shared, procedures to safeguard the data, and how the data are to be used. Although the term data sharing agreement is used throughout this resource, state agencies may use several alternative terms to refer to these documents (e.g., memorandum of understanding, written agreement, data security agreement, information sharing plan, memorandum of agreement). Researchers should adopt the terminology used by the state agency with whom they are partnering. There are resources available that address issues related to data sharing agreements, including guides on data sharing for state agencies and data sharing checklists for program staff to use as they build early childhood data systems. This resource builds on those existing materials by compiling relevant information from multiple sources into one document and sharing guidance from researchers with experience developing such agreements. It also includes examples of data sharing agreements.

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