Data and records
Managing, retaining and sharing your data and records
Research data is the first tangible outcome of research, and responsible research data and records management practices enable ethical and effective research, support future research, and facilitate sharing and reuse of research data. The fundamental principles underpinning responsible research data and records management are:
- Research data and records should be retained, accessible and secured
- Ownership is identified
- Data is shared responsibly and confidentiality is maintained where required
- Data and record is clear and accurate to allow verification and replication or reproduction
Researchers are required to make and keep complete, clear, and accurate records of all research in a manner that allows verification or replication of the work by others and in accordance with relevant funding agreement, institutional policies, laws, regulations, and professional or disciplinary standards. This includes all data, methodologies and findings. Likewise, researchers should employ appropriate methods and use a high level of rigour and objectivity in proposing and performing research, recording, analysing and interpreting research data, and reporting and publishing data and findings.
A Data Management Plan is a useful tool to document methodologies, research data and records management practices and any responsibilities associated with the research data and records. This ensures the integrity of the research and is especially helpful for researchers to fulfil any obligations and comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne must comply with the Policy University Policy on the Management of Research Data and Records. The guiding principles are that research methods and results should be open to scrutiny; research units and departments must establish formally documented procedures for data retention; and researchers must comply with these retention procedures.