Participant Information Sheet

Study Title

PSDS ACD/Labs Trial Evaluation


Nicola Knight / Simon Coles

ERGO number


You are being invited to take part in the above research study. To help you decide whether you would like to take part or not, it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please read the information below carefully and ask questions if anything is not clear or you would like more information before you decide to take part in this research.  You may like to discuss it with others but it is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you are happy to participate you will be asked to sign a consent form.

What is the research about?

The Physical Sciences Data Science Service (PSDS) is a national research facility funded by EPSRC to facilitate the dissemination of physical science data resources and data science tools and training. We are looking to evaluate the ACD/Labs NMR and spectroscopy software via our service to determine if it is a resource that we should licence as a free national service to all UK academics.

Why have I been asked to participate?

This trial information was sent out to existing users of PSDS and to relevant mailing lists where NMR/ spectroscopy software would be of interest to their research.

What will happen to me if I take part?

You will be asked to fill out a short online survey to register for the trial. Upon completion of the survey you will be provided with a link to installation files for a 5 week trial of the ACD/Labs software (this may be shorter if you join part way through the trial) in the process of installing the software you will be provided with a trial license key. This will allow you to install the following ACD/Labs software:

You are free to test out this software in any way you choose to within the remit of your non-commercial research (provided it does not violate the terms and conditions of the software).

At the end of this 5 week period you will be asked to complete a short online evaluation survey where you will be asked about your usage of the ACD/Labs software and your opinions on the software. Following completion of this you will receive a second set of installation files.

At the end of the second 5 week period you will be asked to complete another short online evaluation survey.

Are there any benefits in my taking part?

You will receive access to the ACD/Labs software for up to 10 weeks, depending on when you join the trial. Your participation will also allow us to evaluate the ACD/Labs software for licencing on a national scale.

Are there any risks involved?

There are no risks involved with taking part in the surveys. When trialling the software, the software is provided as is and it is the participants responsibility to ensure that their data is adequately managed and saved, in line with normal data management practices, to ensure no loss of data.

What data will be collected?

You will be asked your Name, Institution and Email address to determine eligibility for participation in the trial and for communication relating to the trial. You will also be asked your domain (or subdomain) of work, and a series of questions about your usage of the ACD/Labs software and your opinion on the ACD/Labs software.

This data will be collected by a series of online questionnaires and will be stored and handled according to our DPA Plan, which is available on the trial information page and linked in each of the questionnaires.

During the installation of the software you will be asked your Email address by ACD/Labs to enable them to send you an activation key. Their GDPR policy can be found at the following webpage: This information is used purely for the purposes of transmitting the activation code.

Will my participation be confidential?

Your participation and the information we collect about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. Our DPA Plan outlines how the questionnaire data will be stored, this document is available on the trial information page and linked in each of the questionnaires. Information submitted to ACD/Labs to receive an activation key is not linked to your evaluation questionnaires in any way.

Only members of the PSDS team and responsible members of the University of Southampton may be given access to data about you for monitoring purposes and/or to carry out an audit of the study to ensure that the research is complying with applicable regulations. Individuals from regulatory authorities (people who check that we are carrying out the study correctly) may require access to your data. All of these people have a duty to keep your information, as a research participant, strictly confidential.

Do I have to take part?

No, it is entirely up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you decide you want to take part, you will need to tick the consent box on the questionnaire to show you have agreed to take part.

What happens if I change my mind?

You have the right to change your mind and withdraw at any time without giving a reason and without your participant rights being affected. If you withdraw from the study, we will keep the information about you that we have already obtained for the purposes of achieving the objectives of the study only. If you withdraw before the midpoint of the trial you will be ineligible to receive the licence for the second half of the trial, though you may choose to re-join at any point.

If you wish all of your responses to be withdrawn entirely please contact After the data has been anonymised we will be unable to identify your response to remove it.

What will happen to the results of the research?

Your personal details will remain strictly confidential. The results from this trial will be used to decide on the provision of spectroscopy software as a national service. The analysed findings from this trial will also be shared with the software partner, ACD/Labs, this will not include any identifiable information or the raw results from the surveys.

The findings from the trial may also be referenced in reports made by the service, including to our Funding body or Advisory board. These will not include any information that would allow identification of a participant.

Where can I get more information?

If you have any queries after reading this information sheet you can contact the trial organiser Dr Nicola Knight – or the PSDS team via

What happens if there is a problem?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should speak to the researchers who will do their best to answer your questions. (

If you remain unhappy or have a complaint about any aspect of this study, please contact the University of Southampton Research Integrity and Governance Manager (023 8059 5058,

Data Protection Privacy Notice

The University of Southampton conducts research to the highest standards of research integrity. As a publicly-funded organisation, the University has to ensure that it is in the public interest when we use personally-identifiable information about people who have agreed to take part in research. This means that when you agree to take part in a research study, we will use information about you in the ways needed, and for the purposes specified, to conduct and complete the research project. Under data protection law, ‘Personal data’ means any information that relates to and is capable of identifying a living individual. The University’s data protection policy governing the use of personal data by the University can be found on its website (

This Participant Information Sheet tells you what data will be collected for this project and whether this includes any personal data. Please ask the research team if you have any questions or are unclear what data is being collected about you.

Our privacy notice for research participants provides more information on how the University of Southampton collects and uses your personal data when you take part in one of our research projects and can be found on the Southampton University sharepoint site

Any personal data we collect in this study will be used only for the purposes of carrying out our research and will be handled according to the University’s policies in line with data protection law. If any personal data is used from which you can be identified directly, it will not be disclosed to anyone else without your consent unless the University of Southampton is required by law to disclose it.

Data protection law requires us to have a valid legal reason (‘lawful basis’) to process and use your Personal data. The lawful basis for processing personal information in this research study is for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. Personal data collected for research will not be used for any other purpose.

For the purposes of data protection law, the University of Southampton is the ‘Data Controller’ for this study, which means that we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. The University of Southampton will keep identifiable information about you for 3 years after the study has finished after which time any link between you and your information will be removed.

To safeguard your rights, we will use the minimum personal data necessary to achieve our research study objectives. Your data protection rights – such as to access, change, or transfer such information - may be limited, however, in order for the research output to be reliable and accurate. The University will not do anything with your personal data that you would not reasonably expect.

If you have any questions about how your personal data is used, or wish to exercise any of your rights, please consult the University’s data protection webpage ( where you can make a request using our online form. If you need further assistance, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer (

Members of the PSDS team from Science Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) will also act as Data processors for the purposes of this trial. Access to this data will only be given where necessary to facilitate the technical delivery of the trial or to undertake analysis of the results. Once the trial is complete and the data is anonymised, any backups of identifiable information will be destroyed. The STFC data protection policy can be found here:


Thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information sheet. We hope you will take part in this trial and please contact us if you have any queries.