Preserving data after your research project is critical to:
Deciding what research data to retain and/or share can be difficult. Consider:
As noted in the introduction to the Toolkit there are many definitions and types of data. This section looks at some data types and how difficult it would be to replace them - something to consider when deciding what to archive:
- presence/absence, sensor readings (usually irreplaceable)
- rock samples, blood samples, plants, interview transcripts, diaries (usually irreplaceable)
JCU staff and students should contact their College, Centre or research unit for advice and to locate JCU repositories (such as the tissue bank) for their physical data. Plan to digitize physical data if you can e.g. microscopy slides, transcripts.
- gene sequences, chromatograms (reproducible, but expensive)
- climate models (model and its inputs are the most important thing here)
- compiled databases (reproducible, but expensive)
In many cases derived data are straightforward to reproduce from your (irreplaceable) raw data as long as a detailed workflow/methodology is also made available. Including the derived data as well is advisable - data can be computationally intensive to reproduce and other researchers may not wish to do so - and derived data may be easier for researchers from other disciplines or the public to understand.
Adapted from: Presentation by Marianne Brown, eResearch Centre, James Cook University - licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 Australia Licence
Retention rules are defined by the research funding body or the university. Key documents for JCU researchers include section 2.5 of the JCU Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and the University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule for Queensland universities.
In general the minimum period for retention of data is 5 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.
Rules in respect of specific types of data include:
|Research data - clinical trials
Research data created in the conduct of clinical trials.
|Retain for 15 years after completion of clinical research/trial AND 10 years after last patient service provision or medico-legal action.|
|Research data - other (does not result in patent)
Research data created in the conduct of research which does not fit into the other categories, which does not result in a patent.
|Retain for 5 years after last action e.g. end of the year of publication of the last refereed publication|
|Research data - other (results in patent)
Research data created in the conduct of research which does not fit into the other categories, which results in a patent.
|Retain for 7 years after expiry of patent (i.e. a minimum of 27 years)|
Research data - significant
JCU HDR students and researchers should archive their completed data in the Tropical Data Hub (TDH) Research Data repository. This includes:
With rare exceptions, datasets deposited in the Tropical Data Hub (TDH) Research Data repository will be assigned a DOI. Your data is a citable part of the "scholarly record" and will be retained permanently regardless of the recommended retention period.
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