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Retention and disposal arrangements for research data
Why do I need to identify how long my research data needs to be retained?
To optimise research outcomes, data must be stored, retained, documented and/or described, made accessible for use and reuse, and/or disposed of, according to legal, statutory, ethical and funding bodies' requirements. (Research Data Mangement Policy)
Sentencing is the process of matching your research data to a specific class of records in a records authority (e.g. Monash University Retention and Disposal Authority, see table below for specific sentences related to research data). This helps determine the research data's value and how it should be managed throughout its lifecycle.
It is strongly recommended that researchers sentence their research data at the START of the research process.This information is often recorded during the application process for Human Ethics approvals and research grants, etc.
Researchers must ensure that requirements for retention and disposal (including secure destruction) are met.
Table 1 outlines the minimum retention periods for research data. In some instances, the data may be required to be retained longer, for example, due to requirements outlined by a research grant.
Issues for consideration along the research journey
Table 1: What is the minimum retention period for my research data?
Source for the first four columns of data - Public Records Office Victoria (PROS-Public Records Office Specification): Retention and Disposal Authority for Records of the Higher and Further Education Functions
Additional informationWhat is the criteria for research data being considered to be of regulatory or community significance (i.e. to be kept permanently)?
Includes data created that is:
The University Library has the ability to assign Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) to research data. A DOI is a persistent link to published research outputs (datasets, code and publications) which includes information about them. Monash University Library will ensure that the link is kept up-to-date and the collection continues to be discoverable.What about instrument-based research data?
Instrument-based research data that is being stored for future experiments due to it being valuable or hard to replicate, should be routinely reviewed every 5 years to ensure it is still viable for use. Relevant metadata indicating how long this instrument-based research data needs to be retained should also be updated as part of this review process.Need help?
If you are unsure about which sentence to apply, contact firstname.lastname@example.org