Preserve

Data retention

You are obligated to retain research data and research records for as long as required by legislation, statutory requirements, funding agency guidelines and contractual arrangements with research partners. Decisions about data retention and disposal should be documented in your data management plan and stored with the data. The Queensland State Archives University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule specifies the statutory retention periods for research data (see section 601.2/A50) as set out below. For more information on statutory retention periods see: About retention and disposal schedules.

How long do I need to keep research data?

Data retention periods vary depending on the kind of data involved, its significance to the research discipline and the public and whether it may be of interest to future researchers for re-use. Retention periods are defined in section 2.1 of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018.

The minimum retention periods are:

Research data Description Status Action
Research data - other (does not result in patent) Research data created in the conduct of research which does not fit into the other categories, which does not result in a patent. Temporary Retain for 5 years after last action e.g. publication
Research data - other (results in patent) Research data created in the conduct of research which does not fit into the other categories below and results in a patent. Temporary Retain for 7 years after expiry of patent
Research data - clinical trials Research data created in the conduct of clinical trials Temporary Retain for 15 years after completion of clinical research/trial AND 10 years after last patient service provision or medico-legal action
Research data - significant Research data created in the conduct of a research project, including clinical trials, which is of high public interest or significance. Permanent Retain permanently
Short term research projects that are for assessment purposes only, such as research projects completed by students Research project completed by undergraduate students as part of course assessment Temporary 12 months after the completion of the project

How long do I need to keep signed consent forms?

All records relating to participant consent in research activities has to be kept for 15 years after the project is concluded or abandoned, according to the Queensland government's University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule.

Archiving research data

QUT's Research Data Storage Service has designated archival storage for the retention of research data from completed projects. Contact Office of eResearch for access. Retain a copy of all metadata and documentation with the completed data sets in the archived project folder.