Data Storage and Management

Storing your research data

Research data must be securely stored in order to ensure that the validity of the data can be demonstrated and, in the case of research data relating to individuals, the University can meet its obligations under the South Australian Freedom of Information Act.


Drawn from and consistent with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research:

  • Research data must be stored for a minimum of 5 years. However, for most clinical trials, retaining research data for 15 years or more may be necessary. For further specific details refer to the Australian Code.
  • Responsibility for storage rests with the Academic Unit where the data was generated.
  • Wherever possible original data should be retained by the Academic Unit. Researchers may hold a copy of the data.
  • Storage must be secure to ensure that access to data is appropriately restricted.
  • Data must be stored in a durable format.


To assist researchers in the appropriate storage of material:

  • Magnetic media are not stable and data should therefore not be stored on computer discs or hard drive. CDs are an acceptable alternative.
  • Audio or video tapes should be transcribed and the transcript retained as an additional method of safeguarding their contents.
  • Where audio or video tapes are to be retained as research data (with the consent of research participants) they should be appropriately stored to minimise the risk of corruption. Details relating to archival storage of audio or video tapes are available from the Ethics and Compliance Officer

See also