RDIM Terminology Data Retention

Data Retention

Preserving the data and information after your research project has been finalised is critical to:

  • Prevent data loss;
  • Enable long-term access, discovery and reuse; and
  • Ensure researchers and institutions can defend their research outcomes if they are challenged.

Preservation activities need to be planned and should take into account file formats and data quality, data ownership (refer to Copyright, Intellectual Property and Moral Rights), retention periods, preferred data repositories and ways to share data safely.

Retention rules are defined by the research funding body or the university. Key documents for JCU researchers include the guide 'Management of Data and Information in Research' which supports the 2018 Code and the University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule for Queensland universities.

In general, the minimum period for retention of data is five years from the end of the year of publication of the last refereed publication or other form of public release to an audience outside of the University that is based on the data. However, in any particular case the period for which data should be retained should be determined by the specific type of research e.g. for areas such as gene therapy, research data must be retained permanently.

For more information refer to the retention rules for specific data types.