Teamwork is central to our research souls here at Dedoose and, accordingly, facilitating collaborative research will always be central to our mission.
Why does this matter?
There is great desire for methodological transparency and rigor in contemporary research and we see teams crossing disciplinary boundaries like never before. So, working openly with others is really the only way to achieve these goals…maybe that ‘Peer Review’ standard IS a good one. And, when it comes to teamwork, Dedoose really shines—allowing you to work with your peers in real-time from any computer, anywhere, and at any time. However, it is usually the case that you don’t want all team members on your project to have the ability to touch everything. Here, we are going to walk you through some examples of the controls you have within Dedoose, so when it comes time to decide who needs to do what, you are informed and will know how to set things up.
The Dedoose Security Center—where it all happens! We’ve programmed in a wide range of security groups for both research project and classroom purposes and don’t have the space here to describe them all in detail. Most importantly, we just want to make sure everyone is familiar with what is possible and will start by describing the default group that you, as a project creator, are a member of.
Full Access: This level of access grants you full access for viewing, creating, modifying, and deleting any object in the project. Further, it is only members of this group with access to the Security Center. This level of access should not be taken lightly and given out like candy because it sounds good. By giving someone Full Access, you are authorizing them to not just to create data, but to modify or delete everything. Generally, no one else on your team needs that kind of power. This level of access is typically given to managers of a project or administrative partners. We recommend only having one person in this group.
The Assistants: These are great for your colleagues or assistants that will help you build and analyze data in your project. As assistants, they will most likely need the access afforded by one of following groups:
Project-Wide Assistant: Members of this group have the same privileges as those in the Full Access group, except for the ability to enter the project Security Center. While members of this group cannot change security settings, they can still impact a project in some serious ways. Our caution here is to only assign people to this group who will absolutely need to have this kind of access and authority within your project.
Standard Assistant: This group is much more restrictive and allows members to create or import resources and create and code/tag excerpts. They can only view tags, descriptor fields, and descriptors, and are, of course, not given access to the Security Center. Further, they can only edit or delete objects that they created themselves.
This group is usually assigned to members who you need to help build your database while maximizing protection of the project as a whole.
Super Assistant: These users have all the same privileges as standard assistants, but also have the ability to modify the excerpts created by others, yet they can still only delete their own.
This group can be helpful when you have a larger team and would like some more trustworthy assistants to help you sift through and refine work done by others.
Super Duper Assistant: Members assigned to this group have the same privileges as Super Assistants, but with the ability to create, modify, AND delete any excerpts.
This is another one of those groups you should use with caution and only if you need help modifying AND deleting anyone’s excerpts.
Everyone Else: Finally, just to provide a flavor for what else is possible, we’ll describe a few more groups in detail to give you a healthy taste of what you can offer to ‘guests’ or small group who should be contributing to a larger project, but not be able to see the work done by other small group members.
No Access: Users in this group have no access to any raw data. This group is valuable when you’ve had people working with you and have left the project, but you will still wish to be able to identify the work they contributed. So, they can’t load the project data, but since their user information is still linked to the project, all the objects they created will still be stamped with their user name. Removing them from the project entirely removes the needed reference information and the objects they created would show ‘NA’ as the user name.
Guest Access: Allows for full viewing and exploration of data, but no ability to add, modify, or delete data.
Restricted Small Group: Users in one of these groups have view privileges for codes and descriptor fields, but can only see media, excerpts, and descriptor data created by member of the same small group.
This group was designed for many classroom or large team projects where small groups are all working on a larger master project. Members can work closely with their smaller team without being influenced by or impacting the work of others.
Privilege Settings: These are the permissions for access to Codes/Tags, Media Files, Excerpts, Descriptor Fields, Descriptors, and Security that control what a user can do with the objects in your project. Security groups are configurations of these permissions as each object can be restricted at a very granular level. They are:
- None - none
- Viewer - view all work
- Isolated User - ability to create items but only view own work
- Group User - ability to view all group items and create, edit, delete own work within group
- Group Manager - ability to view, create, edit, and delete all work within group
- Restricted User - ability to view all and create all, no edit privileges, and delete privileges for self-created items
- Project User - ability to create and edit all work
- Project Manager - ability to create, edit, and delete all work
Finally, if you find that none of the pre-programmed security groups are meeting your requirements, shoot us an email that has each aspect of your project paired up with the desired level of access and we can create it for you…in minutes if you catch us at the right time. Given the possibility of 262,144 different access groups, we may have missed one or two.
So, stay in full control of your project, and take care of the people you’ve invited to join you.