Data Steward review requirements for the public disclosure of Research Materials

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In signing a Research Agreement with a public body for access to data, Researchers commit to sending Research Materials (previously called “pre-publication materials”) to the public body in advance of public dissemination. Data Stewards, as those responsible for ensuring appropriate uses of the public body’s data, check that:

  • Privacy/confidentiality requirements are upheld
  • There is no gross misuse of the data
  • The data is appropriately referenced 

This also provides an opportunity for Data Stewards to learn of, and brief internally on, the research findings. 

Experience has shown that not all Researchers have the same understanding of what is required, and that public bodies vary in their expectations and timelines. In order to enhance communications and compliance around review requirements for the public disclosure of Research Materials, a single set of review requirements has been agreed upon by Population Data BC (PopData) and our Data Steward partners. These are summarised in the table below.

Review Requirements

Type of Research Output Submission to Data Steward required Citation requirement Disclaimer requirement When to submit?
Presentations: seminars, conferences, lectures
Abstracts yes no no At time of submission to conference
Presentations to colleagues no no yes Not required
Presentations (audience outside of colleagues) yes no yes 1 week prior to presentation
Instructional use (lectures, lab exercises, etc.) yes no yes 1 week prior to delivery
Publications: articles, op-ed, journals, theses and dissertations
Article or Op-ed for general public release (newspaper , magazine, blog, wiki, etc.) yes no yes At time of submission
Journal publication yes yes yes At time of submission to the journal (initial submission)
Academic thesis or dissertation material
Please note: All thesis and dissertations completed as part of a larger project MUST be pre-approved by the Data Stewards BEFORE the student engages in the work
yes yes yes At time of final submission to committee
Other output types        
Radio, television, internet, etc. interview yes no no 1 week prior to presentation
Generally, anything that is to be released into the public domain requires vetting by Data Stewards, per the Research Agreement. Using analyses and results that have previously been vetted and have not changed, do not require subsequent vetting for use in a different output format, however they still need to be submitted as an 'FYI' to Data Stewards for their records.

Required acknowledgments

  1. Disclaimer requirement: The following disclaimer language is required to be included in most research materials (see the Review Requirements Table above for exceptions):

“All inferences, opinions, and conclusions drawn in this [insert type of research output] are those of the authors, and do not reflect the opinions or policies of the Data Steward(s).”

  1. Data source citations: Data sources must be cited in publication materials (see the Review requirements table above for exceptions). Please refer to our page on How to cite sources for further guidance.

How to Reference Population Data BC

Please use the full name, Population Data BC when referencing Population Data BC in:

  • Grant/funding applications
  • Conference presentations or discussions
  • Interviews or articles
  • Reports, papers or other published research outputs

Do not use PDBC or PopData BC or PopData

Frequently asked questions:

Where do I submit my Research Materials for pre-publication review?

Researchers are asked to submit their pre-publication submissions via PopData using our online webform. PopData will distribute research materials to Data Stewards on the researcher’s behalf. This allows PopData to a) track Research Products and support public dissemination of the materials, and b) ensure that there is a uniform coordination of the Research Materials review process, including ensuring that all Data Stewards involved in a project receive the submission.  

Can I share my Research Materials with Colleagues without submitting for pre-publication review?

Sharing of results or outputs pre-release with team members and colleagues is an important part of the research process (please refer to our definition of ‘Colleague’ below). In order to maintain the status as not being public, thus not requiring review, it is expected that the information is kept confidential amongst colleagues. Acknowledgement of this in presentations is expected.

What is PopData's definition of Colleague?

A “Colleague” is someone who shares research-related interests. Communications to a colleague are not expected to go public or get distributed. Colleagues may be both within or outside the same institution; both within or outside the same research centre or work unit.

What if my Research Materials have been revised after submission for pre-publication review?

Data Stewards recognize that Research Materials may change after submission for review. That said, they also need to know what information about the project has been made public. It is requested that the Researcher commit to sending only final drafts for review and, if subsequent changes are made, notify the Data Steward of any material changes and provide a copy of the final publication and/or presentation version.

What happens if I fail to submit my Research Materials for pre-publication review?

The Research Agreement that is signed between the public body and the Researcher outlines the Researcher’s legal obligation to submit Research Materials for review. Failure to comply puts the Researcher in breach of this agreement, and could render the Researcher ineligible to access the public body’s data again in the future.

See also: Referencing Population Data BC and How to cite sources

> submit Research Materials for review online

For Provincial Overdose Cohort researchers, please submit your research material via

Page last revised: April 29, 2020