What is Coded?

Coded meaning With respect to private information or human biological specimens, coded means that:identifying information (such as name or social security number) that would enable the investigator to readily ascertain the identity of the individual to whom the private information or specimens pertain has been replaced with a number, letter, symbol or combination thereof (i.e., the code); anda key to decipher the code exists, enabling linkage of the identifying information with the private information or specimens.Research that involves only coded private information/data or coded human biological specimens may not constitute human subjects research under the HHS human subjects regulations (45 CFR 46) if:the specimens and/or information/data are not obtained from an interaction/intervention with the subject specifically for the research; andthe investigator(s) cannot readily ascertain the identity of the individual(s) to whom the coded private information or specimens pertain (e.g., the researcher’s access to subject identities is prohibited).Individuals who provide coded information or specimens for proposed research and who also collaborate on the research involving such information or specimens are considered to be involved in the conduct of human subject research.(See the following guidance from the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) for additional information and examples:


reference: Glossary of NIH Terms