Data, Materials and Records Management
“The central aim is that sufficient materials and data are retained to justify the outcomes of the research and to defend them if they are challenged”
Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2007, p. 2.1
The usefulness of research depends on the veracity of research data. The responsible conduct of research requires that appropriate methods are used in data collection. It also requires the proper management and retention of research data, records and primary materials. Durable research data are essential to justify and, when required, defend the outcomes of research.
Research can generate very large volumes 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 If sufficient materials and data are not retained the results of research should not be published.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:
- Storage, retention and disposal
- Access for re-use
- Privacy and confidentiality
Researchers at UQ must comply with the University’s policy on research data management and with legal, statutory, ethics and funding body requirements. The University Library provides information and planning tools in its Guide to Research Data Management to assist researchers in meeting their responsibilities. In developing their data management plan researchers must take into consideration the Open Access policies of UQ, funding organisations and publishers.
Researchers should speak to their supervisor at the start of a project to understand the resources available for data storage and management.