Retention periods for research data may be influenced by a number of factors:
Some research data have lasting research value for researchers and the general public. In such cases, the decision may be made to keep data for a longer period or even permanently. Longer-term and permanent retention of research outputs such as publications are recommended where the outcomes of the research:
Before leaving the University, you should arrange access for at least one other researcher or your Head of School or Research Centre to the data and any documentation relating to it. Master copies of any working data that belongs to the University or to a third party with which the University has an agreement must not be removed from the University.
You may choose to dispose of your data once the retention period has passed and you feel that the data is no longer of value or to meet ethical requirements.
The disposal of Primary Materials and Research Data are to be conducted in accordance with the University’s information management procedures.
When data is destroyed it must be irreversible with no chance of recovery. Paper can be shredded using an office shredder. Extra care should be taken with sensitive or confidential information and a secure paper destruction service bin used.
Digital data may be destroyed by deleting or overwriting information, purging magnetic media through degaussing (exposure to a strong magnetic field), or destroying the physical media (e.g. CD-ROMS, DVDs).