The usefulness of research depends on the veracity of the data underpinning it. The responsible conduct of research requires that appropriate methods are used in data collection. It also requires the proper management and retention of research records, including data and primary materials. Durable research data are essential to justify and, when required, defend the outcomes of research. 

UQ researchers act in accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018) and the University’s Responsible Conduct of Research Policy, which include the following responsibilities related to research records:

  • Retain clear, accurate, secure and complete records of all research including research data and primary materials. Where possible and appropriate, allow access and reference to these by interested parties

To meet these obligations researchers at UQ observe the University’s Research Data Management Policy. Researchers also need to be aware of relevant legal, statutory, ethics and funding body requirements.

Research can generate very large volumes of data, records and primary materials. Effective management is therefore important to ensure efficiency in research and to prevent compromises to data integrity. If sufficient materials and data are not retained the results of research should not be published. 

Research data management begins with a good plan. Before data is collected researchers must consider issues related to:

  • ownership
  • storage, retention and disposal
  • access for re-use
  • privacy and confidentiality

The University Library provides information and planning tools in its Guide to Research Data Management to assist researchers in meeting their obligations. The guide includes information on UQ's Research Data Manager system. In developing their data management plan researchers must take into consideration requirements of research agreements, funding organisations, publishers and the University's Open Access for UQ Research Publications Policy and Procedures.

Researchers should seek advice from their supervisor at the start of a project to understand the resources available for the management and retention of research records, including data and primary materials.

Additional resources