Materials management

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research outlines how to manage research data and primary materials. To understand your responsibilities refer to Section 2 of The Code, particularly Sections 2.5 – 2.7.

Read the full Code

Section 2 Management of research data and primary materials

2.5 Retain research data and primary materials

When considering how long research data and primary materials are to be retained, the researcher must take account of professional standards, legal requirements and contractual arrangements.

2.5.1 Researchers should retain research data and primary materials for sufficient time to allow reference to them by other researchers and interested parties.

For published research data, this may be for as long as interest and discussion persist following publication.

2.5.2 Research data should be made available for use by other researchers unless this is prevented by ethical, privacy or confidentiality matters.

2.5.3 Research data should be retained for at least the minimum period specified in the institutional policy.

2.5.4 If the results from research are challenged, all relevant data and materials must be retained until the matter is resolved. Research records that may be relevant to allegations of research misconduct must not be destroyed.

2.5.5 The institutional policy on the secure and safe disposal of primary materials and
research data must be followed.

2.6 Manage storage of research data and primary materials

Researchers must manage research data and primary materials in accordance with the policy of the institution. To achieve this, researchers must:

2.6.1 Keep clear and accurate records of the research methods and data sources, including any approvals granted, during and after the research process.

2.6.2 Ensure that research data and primary materials are kept in safe and secure storage provided, even when not in current use.

2.6.3 Provide the same level of care and protection to primary research records, such as laboratory notebooks, as to the analysed research data.

2.6.4 Retain research data, including electronic data, in a durable, indexed and
retrievable form.

2.6.5 Maintain a catalogue of research data in an accessible form.

2.6.6 Manage research data and primary materials according to ethical protocols and
relevant legislation.

2.7 Maintain confidentiality of research data and primary materials

Researchers given access to confidential information must maintain that confidentiality. Primary materials and confidential research data must be kept in secure storage. Confidential information must only be used in ways agreed with those who provided it. Particular care must be exercised when confidential data are made available for discussion.

More information and resources

Depending on the type of primary materials you need to manage the following sites contain important information regarding the use, transport, storage, and disposal of particular materials and goods.

If your research involves the import, export or containment of quarantine goods you need to become familiar with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) conditions and requirements.