Anonymisation of research data

For questions, contact your privacy officer (PO). On the My EUR page of the Privacy Office (PO) you can find contact details for your faculty’s PO.


Researchers should consider appropriate measures to protect the privacy of research respondents. One way to do so is by anonymising or pseudonymising research data that includes personal data.

Below you will find more information on what these processes imply, techniques and tools that can be used for quantitative and qualitative data, the different phases of research, as well as the definitions of relevant terms.

Make a plan

You should make a plan as early as possible, laying down which anonymisation and pseudonymisation techniques you will apply in which research phase. This will help you set up your study in a privacy by design fashion and will save time and costs in the long run.

Phases of research

Collect and analyse the personal data necessary and relevant for your study purposes (be able to explain why it is relevant). Apply the appropriate anonymisation or pseudonymisation techniques as soon as possible and to the extent that you can still reach the goals of the research.

Published research data should always be anonymous unless you have consent to publish or re-use personal data.

After the completion of the project, store the raw and processed research data and accompanying documentation for scientific integrity purposes (min. 10 years). You might be required to remove personal data or company data depending on the situation (e.g., data that was not used to conduct the research or data that is not required to prove the integrity of the research).


Anonymisation glossary

Methods for anonymising quantitative data

Methods for anonymising qualitative data

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