A software solution for secure bioscience collaboration

DataSHIELD is an infrastructure and series of R packages that enables the remote and non-disclosive analysis of sensitive research data. Users are not required to have prior knowledge of R.

What Is DataSHIELD?

DataSHIELD is an open-source software for the privacy-preserving analysis of biomedical, healthcare and social-science data.

Crucially, the data remain secure behind the firewalls on the system where they usually reside, and under the complete control of their primary custodian.

Latest DataSHIELD News

Upcoming Events

DataSHIELD Conference (Online) has been announced and is taking place on 10-11 November 2021 - see below for details. Abstract submissions are now open on the Events page.

DataSHIELD Conference (Online) 10-11 November 2021

 The DataSHIELD Advisory Board are organising a two day conference to be held on 10-11 November 2021. This will look to the past, present and future of DataSHIELD and the community, showcasing achievements from the first ten years, highlighting scientific advances that privacy protected distributed analysis has helped facilitate, and providing tasters of new community developments, functionality, and applications,

 The agenda will include a mix of talks and demonstrations, and discussion sessions to facilitate DataSHIELD community-led solutions to a range of development and application challenges. 

 This conference is suitable for: 

  • those unfamiliar with DataSHIELD, or who have a potential new use-case and wish to find out more
  • current DataSHIELD users - including researchers and developers
  • those developing new statistical methodology,  functionality or infrastructure for DataSHIELD.  

 We are accepting abstract submissions for short talks relating to scientific advances that have been facilitated using DataSHIELD, with prizes available for the best presentations by Early Career Researchers. In particular, we are looking for examples of how disseminated analysis has been used to facilitate other scientific progress; presentations may therefore relate to scientific advances in any field.

 We also welcome proposals for demonstrations or discussion sessions on any topic related to DataSHIELD technical & methodological development, usecases or ethico-legal-social issues.  In order to compile an agenda relevant for the DataSHIELD contributor community, the abstract deadline is Thursday 30 September 2021.

For further details, see our Events page. 

July DataSHIELD Newcomers' Workshop

Thanks for coming to our July Workshop! It was lovely to see you there.

Here are some links to materials you may find useful:

We are planning to have the next Newcomers' workshop in early September, which we will publicise closer to the time; hope to see you there if you missed this one!

First DataSHIELD Newcomers' Workshop

We introduced newcomers to the DataSHIELD non-disclosive statistical software package, all the key features to get started, and where to go next in their analyses. 

The accompanying R Markdown Script that you can use to practice writing DataSHIELD code yourself is on google drive: to download  click here

If you couldn't make this June session- don’t worry, we plan to repeat (and fine-tune) this presentation monthly for the foreseeable future.

Partnership with vantage6

The federated learning landscape is evolving incredibly fast. This is in large part due to its fantastic community, which is pushing the boundaries of what decentralized analysis can do. Moreover, the intrinsic nature of this technology promotes collaborations across different parties.

As one of these collaborations, we are thrilled to announce a partnership between DataSHIELD and vantage6. In case you don’t know, vantage6 is a priVAcy preserviNg federaTed leArning infrastructurE for Secure Insight eXchange. It is a modern and flexible architecture capable of supporting various data sources and study types that is being continuously developed by the federated learning community and is mostly maintained by IKNL (the Integraal Kankercentrum Netherland, or Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organization). You can learn more about them here.

What is the purpose of this partnership?

Our objective is to leverage the best of these two solutions: we want to make the extensive DataSHIELD toolset available through vantage6. In other words, users of vantage6 will be able to use the well curated and carefully reviewed analysis methods in DataSHIELD, all while keeping the data of each party safe. Read more on our blog post here.


New Update: Version 6.1.1

We have just released the lastest update of DataSHIELD - a maintenance update for the main Version 6.1 release which went live in the latter part of last year. The full update notes are available at our latest release page.

We have also started planning the release of DataSHIELD v6.2. Now would be a good time for feedback on what you would like to see featured in it. Please post a request on forum (sign up for free) or use our Get in Touch page regarding this.

Dropin Sessions

join Tim Cadman and the DataSHIELD team every Tuesday morning between 10.00-11.00am (GMT) for an informal Q&A session - Zoom link here 

DataSHIELD progress last year

DataSHIELD progress in 2020 includes new International Advisory Board - read more

We also ran 4 successful DataSHIELD workshops, including DIY elements- see below for the video recordings (Summer 2020, Winter 2020)

Beginners' workshop, ATHLETE GA

An extended example of DataSHIELD for beginners, this workshop lasted 2 hours and was customised for the needs of the ATHLETE consortium users who were beginning to use the software for their analyses.

Resources covered include logging in, summary statistics, sub-setting, plotting, and modelling.

You can follow along to the topics discussed within the video using materials found at the wiki page here.

Resources Workshop (Jan 2021)

The introduction to resources in DataSHIELD workshop was presented by Juan Ramon Gonzalez of ISGlobal and Yannick Marcon of Obiba.

Subjects discussed included Resources and the RShiny app. Timestamped chapters are available (click to view on youtube if not appearing in the embedded video).

- workshop material: https://github.com/obiba/resources-wo...
- bookdown:
- shiny app bookdown:
- shiny app:

Beginners' Workshop (Jun 2020)

Online workshop for DataSHIELD advanced users featuring Professor Paul Burton, Newcastle University and Tom Bishop, Cambridge University.The focus of this two-hour workshop is to demonstrate IPD analysis and mediation analysis.

Advanced Workshop (Jun 2020)

Online workshop for DataSHIELD advanced users featuring Professor Paul Burton, Newcastle University and Tom Bishop, Cambridge University.The focus of this two-hour workshop is to demonstrate IPD analysis and mediation analysis.

Check out the rest on our D2K YouTube channel!