Manual of Policies and Procedures

D/2.8 Management of research data

Contact Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation)

Approval Date

13/11/2015

Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review

01/11/2016

2.8.1 Policy principles
2.8.2 Obligations
2.8.3 Application
2.8.4 Definitions
2.8.5 Roles and responsibilities
2.8.6 Ownership of research data and primary materials
2.8.7 Management of research data and primary materials
Related Documents
Modification History

2.8.1 Policy principles

Management of research data and primary materials is a component of the University’s Research governance framework (D/2.3) and is a part of the University’s commitment to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Management of research data is required to address the ownership of research materials and data, their storage, their retention beyond the end of the project, and appropriate access to them by the research community.

Management of research data and primary materials is conducted in accordance with principles of compliance, accountability, ethical acceptability and risk management.

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2.8.2 Obligations

This policy complements the QUT Code of Conduct for Research (D/2.6), the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and the principles and best practice standards of good research data management and primary materials in accordance with the Australian National Data Service (ANDS).

The policy outlines the University’s expectations for the management of research records throughout the research data management life cycle of planning, storage, retention, access and re-use, and disposal. This policy should be implemented with the Guidelines for the Management of Research Data at QUT and QUT Digital Data Storage Options.

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2.8.3 Application

This policy applies to all staff members, whether full-time, part-time, ongoing, fixed-term, casual or sessional. It also applies to the following members of the University Community:

  • visiting and adjunct academics, or other academics or research collaborators; and
  • students engaged in research, including higher degree research students, Honours students and other students engaged in research activities at QUT.

For the purposes of this policy, and except where specified in MOPP B/8.1.7, the term “staff member” has been used to include all QUT staff members as well as the members of the University community to whom this policy applies as defined in this section.

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2.8.4 Definitions

Brokered infrastructure means electronic infrastructure available for use by QUT researchers which is not owned or maintained by QUT, but which QUT has examined, considered, and endorses the use of.

Chief Investigator means the lead researcher on a research project as per the definition provided in D/1.1.7.

Primary materials means physical objects collected and/or used during research from which research data may be obtained. It includes, but is not limited to, materials such as biological samples, mineral samples, survey questionnaires, measurements, recordings, artwork and photographs.

Public funding means external research funding provided by a public agency in Australia or internationally. Public funding includes, but is not limited to, competitive grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council or the Australian Research Council.

Research data means data in the form of facts, observations, images, computer program results, recordings, measurements or experiences on which an argument, theory, test or hypothesis, or other research output is based. It relates to data generated, collected, or used, during research projects, and in some cases may include the research output itself. Data may be numerical, descriptive, visual or tactile. It may be raw, cleaned or processed, and may be held in any format or media. Research data, in many disciplines, may by necessity include the software, algorithm, model and/or parameters, used to arrive at the research outcome, in addition to the raw data that the software, algorithm or model is applied to.

Researcher means any academic, professional, or senior, staff member, research student, or affiliate of the university, engaged in or supporting the conduct of research at the University as per the application of this policy in section D/2.8.3.

Research data management means all the processes and actions required to manage research data and primary materials throughout the research life-cycle for current and future research purposes and uses.

Metadata means information or facts about research data for the purpose of attribution, description, management, verification and discovery.

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2.8.5 Roles and responsibilities

Research data management is a shared responsibility across senior management, researchers (including Chief Investigators), Heads of School and Institute Directors. This responsibility lasts throughout the research data management lifecycle.

The roles and responsibilities table describes the responsibilities under this policy for the following roles:

  • QUT (responsibilities as an Institution)
  • QUT Senior Management
    • Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Technology Information and Learning Support (DVC, TILS)
    • Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Commercialisation (DVC, RC)
    • Director, Office of Research Ethics and Integrity (Director, OREI)
    • Executive Deans
  • Chief Investigators
  • All QUT Researchers (including Chief Investigators)
  • Heads of Schools
  • Institute Executive Directors

Further detailed information relating to roles and responsibilities see the Roles and Responsibilities Table.

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2.8.6 Ownership of research data and primary materials

Original research data and primary materials generated in the conduct of research at the University will be owned and retained by Queensland University of Technology, subject to any contractual, statutory, ethical, or funding body requirements.

Researchers are permitted to retain a copy of the research data and primary materials for future use, subject to any contractual, statutory, ethical or funding body requirements.

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2.8.7 Management of research data and primary materials

(a) Research data management planning

QUT provides an online research data management planning tool to assist researchers create a robust research data management plan. The use of the online research data management plan is encouraged, especially for large, collaborative, or complex projects.

Research which is supported by public funding, and higher degree research student projects, must use the QUT online research data management planning tool.

Research data management planning will consider:

  • Each element of the research data management life cycle of planning, storage, retention, access and re-use, and disposal
  • Ethical requirements such as consent to re-use participant data, privacy (F/6.2), confidentiality of records, and the cultural sensitivity of research data and primary materials
  • Any contractual arrangements and legislative requirements, including funding body requirements that must be adhered to.

(b) Storage and retention

Sufficient research data must be stored and maintained in a retrievable manner to enable replication and verification of research outcomes.
Where QUT researchers collaborate with researchers from other institutions, it is expected that QUT would normally store a copy of the portions of research data created by QUT, subject to any contractual or other written agreements.

(i) Storage infrastructure

Research data and primary materials must be stored in physical storage facilitated by either the School or Institute; or electronic facilities centrally provided or brokered by the Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support. Researchers should refer to the QUT Digital Data Storage Options.

If non-QUT managed or brokered infrastructure is used at any stage of the research data life cycle, the researcher must ensure the chosen tool, service, or storage method:

  • Complies with QUT policy and related guidelines on responsible research  practices;
  • Complies with any contractual and/or relevant legislation including funding agreements; and
  • Provides a sufficient level of security and confidentiality of research data including the ability to provide notifications of breaches of security.

(ii) Retention

The minimum retention period for research data and primary materials will be according to the Queensland State Archives University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule. Some research data will be permanently retained, where the project is of high public interest or significance to the discipline.

Researchers should also consider longer than minimum retention of research data sets that may be of interest to future researchers for re-use.

(iii) Access and re-use

Research data will be made available for access and re-use by other researchers subject to any contractual, ethical, privacy or confidentiality matters.  Metadata will be made available to other researchers via open access repositories and where appropriate, research data may be made available under open access licenses or by negotiated or controlled access.

(iv) Disposal

Disposal of research data and primary materials will occur only when the following conditions are satisfied:

  • Completion of the minimum data retention period
  • Does not qualify for permanent retention
  • Consideration has been made for access to the data for future re-use
  • Approval has been granted by the Executive Dean (Appendix 3 – Schedule of Authorities and Delegations).

Research data and primary materials will only be disposed of as a deliberate and planned action, in accordance with F/6.1.6 Retention and Disposal of Records.

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Related Documents

MOPP D/2.6 QUT Code of Conduct for Research

MOPP F/6.1 Records management policy

MOPP F/6.2 Information privacy

MOPP Appendix 3 – Schedule of Authorities and Delegations

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

Queensland State Archives General Retention and Disposal Schedule for Queensland Universities

Guidelines for the Management of Research Data at QUT (QUT staff access only)

Guidelines on the use of the Data Management Planning Tool for Higher Degree Research candidates (QUT staff access only)

NHMRC Principles for accessing and using publicly funded data for health research

QUT Digital Data Storage Options (QUT staff access only)

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
13.11.15 All University Academic Board Revised policy
03.05.13 All Associate Director, Library Services (Information Resources and Research Support Services) Periodic review - minor editorial amendments only
26.03.10 All University Academic Board New policy

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