Protect Identifiable Research Information
A Certificate of Confidentiality, or CoC, is an official document issued by the U.S. government that allows researchers to protect the privacy of participants in scientific research studies.
The primary purpose of a Certificate of Confidentiality is to protect identifiable research information from compelled disclosure, which may arise from legal proceedings or other public requests for information.
For example, a Certificate of Confidentiality may be issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help protect the identity of participants in a research study. The Certificate prevents the disclosure of information that could identify the research participants, such as their names, addresses, and social security numbers.
A Certificate of Confidentiality also allows researchers to refuse to release identifying information in any civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings.
In addition to protecting the privacy of research participants, a Certificate of Confidentiality also encourages researchers to communicate openly and honestly with their participants. Without the assurance of confidentiality, participants may be reluctant to provide honest and accurate information.
Finally, a Certificate of Confidentiality is also important for protecting researchers from legal liability. By adhering to the strict conditions of the Certificate, researchers can avoid accusations of using confidential information for personal gain or disclosing confidential information in violation of the law.
In conclusion, the primary purpose of a Certificate of Confidentiality is to protect identifiable research information from compelled disclosure. By providing this protection to participants in research studies, Certificates of Confidentiality help to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the research.