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.

Description (nature of research) Retention Period
Research data which does not result in a patent Retain for 5 years after last action.
Research data which results in a patent Retain for 7 years after expiry of patent.
Clinical trials Retain for 15 years after completion of clinical research/trial AND 10 years after last patient service provision or medico-legal action.
Significant - research data which is of high public interest or significance to the discipline such that it has or will change a commonly held view or approach.

Factors which may determine significance include projects which:

  • are controversial
  • are subject of extensive debate
  • arouse widespread scientific or other interest
  • have the potential to cause major adverse impacts on
    the environment, society or human health
  • involve eminent researchers
  • involve the use of major new or innovative techniques.

Archiving research data

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