Policy

Research Data Management - Policy

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Body

1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy sets out the requirements for University of Queensland Researchers to ensure that their Research Data are managed according to legal, statutory, ethical and funding body requirements.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Chief Investigatorthe Researcher with overall responsibility for the management of the research project.

Primary Materialsobjects (physical or virtual) acquired through a process of scholarly investigation from which Research Data may be derived.

Research Data - includes all data created and/or generated by Researchers in the course of their research work, on which an argument, theory, test or hypothesis, or another research output is based, for which the University has a custodial responsibility under relevant agreements and the relevant archives/record keeping acts.

Researchers - staff, visiting fellows and researchers, adjuncts, academic title holders and students of the University who conduct research including SOTL for the University

SOTL - Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The CodeThe Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007)

University - The University of Queensland

University Resources - resources of the University which include premises, facilities, funds, services, equipment, paid leave, staff time and support staff.

Visitor - any person other than Researchers  who acquires Primary Materials or creates Research Data,  while taking part in any research project or scholarly activity in conjunction with a University staff member or student.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all Researchers and Visitors who collect, create and/or generate Research Data, irrespective of their work location; and to all Research Data, regardless of format, and subject to the provisions of any relevant contracts or funding/collaboration agreements.

4. Policy Statement

4.1 The aim of this policy is to ensure that the Research Data required for validation of research results are properly managed according to recommendations made in The Code and applicable legislation. The Code states that all individuals and institutions engaged in research have a responsibility to manage Research Data effectively, by addressing ownership, storage, retention and access issues.

4.2 The University recognises significant value in the Research Data generated by its large investment in research. Durable Research Data are essential to justify, and defend when required, the outcomes of research. Good stewardship of Research Data can increase the efficiency and maintain the integrity of research results.

4.3 The potential cumulative value of Research Data should also be considered and, where possible, Research Data should be made available for re-use. The University recognises that access to Research Data can raise the research profile of individuals and institutions, increase returns on public investment, promote open inquiry and debate, and enable innovative uses of data that may not have been foreseen by Researchers at the time of its creation. The University is committed to supporting long-term Research Data management to enable continuing access to Research Data.

4.4 To optimise research outcomes, data must be stored, retained, documented and/or described, made accessible for use and reuse, and/or disposed of, according to legal, statutory, ethical and funding body requirements.  Research Data management is a shared responsibility. The University expects all Researchers, academic units, the Library and central administrative units to work collaboratively to implement good Research Data management practice.

5. Ownership, Custodianship and Responsibilities

5.1 Subject to applicable legislation and regulations and/or any separate agreements or obligations of confidence entered into by the University with third parties,  including funding bodies and non-UQ research collaborators, the University asserts custodianship over Research Data for all research covered by the scope of this policy.

5.2 For the sake of clarity, while the University asserts custodianship of all Research Data, it does not separately establish or override intellectual property rights, which are addressed in the University’s IP Policy -Intellectual Property for Staff, Students and Visitors – Policy (4.10.13a).

5.3 The University assertion of custodianship does not impede the normal use of such data by Researchers for their research and scholarly purposes. Instead, it permits the University to collect and control such data for long-term purposes such as data preservation and data sharing.

5.4 Although the University, as custodian of the Research Data, must meet the requirements of sponsors, good management practice and practical considerations necessitate that the University and Researchers act in collaboration to fulfil these obligations.

5.5 Where projects span several institutions, an agreement must be developed at the outset covering the control and management of Primary Materials and Research Data.

6. Storage of Research Data and Records

6.1 The University will make commercially reasonable efforts to protect Primary Materials and Research Data against theft, misuse, damage or loss. Researchers must take reasonable steps to keep Primary Materials and Research Data secure.  Research Data must be held in appropriate facilities and adequately recorded in a register or index of research metadata to enable access to be managed as required.

6.2 Research Data must be properly curated throughout its life-cycle and stored with the appropriate metadata.

6.3 While it may not be practical to keep all the Primary Materials, durable records derived from them must be retained and made accessible.

6.4 Agreements covering all aspects of Primary Materials and Research Data management are to be reviewed whenever there is movement or departure of Primary Materials or Research Data between institutions including those outside of Australia.

7. Retention of Research Data and Records

7.1 Researchers must retain Research Data in a durable, indexed and retrievable form, for at least as long as the relevant archives or records keeping acts, national codes or funding bodies require.

7.2 Subject to clause 5.1, Researchers can retain copies of Research Data for their own use, taking into account the confidentiality and possible sensitivity of the data.

7.3 Agreements covering all aspects of Primary Materials and Research Data management are to be reviewed whenever there is movement or departure of Researchers between institutions.

8. Disposal of Research Data and Records

8.1 The disposal of Primary Materials and Research Data are to be conducted in accordance with the University’s Records Management policy - Records Management – Policy (1.60.04a)

8.2 If the results from research are challenged, all relevant Research Data and Primary Materials must be retained at least until notification from the University that the matter is resolved.

8.3 Records that may be relevant to emerging or current allegations of research misconduct must not be modified or destroyed, as addressed in the University’s Research Misconduct Policy - Research Misconduct – Policy (4.20.05)

9. Access to Research Data and Records

9.1 Subject to clause 5.1, Research Data and Primary Materials should be made available by Researchers for use by other researchers and interested persons for further research, after reasonable periods following the completion of the research. Preclusions on the basis of confidentiality include formal confidentiality agreements and situations where research/development is focused on achieving a defined piece of protectable intellectual property.

9.2 If the Primary Materials and Research Data are not available in open forums, Researchers interested in undertaking further research should consult with the Chief Investigator or their delegate regarding access.

9.3 Researchers given access to confidential information must maintain that confidentiality. Confidential information must only be used in ways agreed with those that provided it.

Custodians
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Professor Robyn Ward
Custodians
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Professor Robyn Ward