How do you ensure my privacy?
The SUGAR Group staff and associates all sign and agree to a strict confidentiality agreement that does not allow us to speak of ANY information we receive from any person. Additionally, only a few staff members have access to your personal information. Most SUGAR Group staff do not have any access to your name, your glider's name(s), your contact information or any other identifying information.
Why do I have to put my name and screen name on every survey?
Each person who participates in the SUGAR Group research efforts is assigned a number for identification purposes. This number is the ONLY information shared with most staff. This number identifies you on every survey and allows us to track individual information about some of your gliders. For example: If you have a glider who has repeated seizures or facial abscesses, then every time we get any information from you about that particular glider, we file it in that glider's file in addition to your file. This becomes important for some of our later projects.
This number is one of the ways that we protect your confidentiality and that we ensure that all information going to our analysts is anonymous, in order to ensure objective analysis and results.
Why do I have to put my sugar glider's name(s) on many surveys?
See above answer. This is for tracking purposes. We are being proactive so that 5 years from now we don't have to ask you to repeat a lot of information on a specific glider. We assign each of your gliders a designation associated with your assigned number.
For example, Jane Doe (whose assigned number is 001) has a glider named Gizmo (like hundreds of other people). In order to ensure that we never confuse HER Gizmo with someone else's Gizmo, Jane's glider is labeled 001-GIZ . This is one of the ways that we ensure that all data going to our analysts is impartial and anonymous.
What happens to my data once it is submitted?
Once submitted, your data is appropriately categorized and stored. Every piece of data that comes in to the SUGAR group is recorded and stored in THREE different places by three different individuals. This helps us ensure that this important work will never be lost to this community no matter what happens to any of the SUGAR Group staff in the future.
Once your data is submitted or arrives at Val's home, it is stored in the appropriate file. Once enough submissions are collected to begin analysis, the data is copied and sent to storage place #2 where it is entered into our computerized database/spreadsheets and all identifying information is removed and replaced with number and letter designation system. Once the information is appropriately organized and secured, it is sent to an analyst for analysis.
What if you need to consult with a vet or scientist? What happens to my confidentiality then?
As noted above, if we must consult with another professional, ONLY your assigned participant number is shared. Your personal information is NEVER shared outside of the SUGAR Group.