Records retention

Research records retention advice


Time period

Administration records of research projects and programs, including internal/external audits and benchmarking

7 years from conclusion of project/program

Anatomy and specimen management

5 years from date of expiry/date of transfer/disposal of specimen out of collection

Animal research administration

7 years from date of last entry

Biosafety approval documents

8 years (from date of ‘records of assessment’ for all notifiable low risk dealings)

7 years for exempt dealings (from date of last entry)

Clinical trials research patient files

15 years (following final attendance)

Clinical trials research records

15 years (following final publication)

Ethics - animal ethics approval documents

7 years (from date of last entry)

Ethics - human ethics approval documents


Higher degree by research supervisors’ records

7 years after last act of student supervision

Human research consent forms for participation in a study

7 years (after project completion)

Intellectual property agreements and registrations


Patent applications


Patent documentation


Recording of research projects undertaken by an organisation


Research collaborative agreements


Research data (involving clinical trials)

15 years (from date of completion)

Research data (not involving clinical trials)

5 years (from date of completion)

Research funds administration

2 years (following allocation of funds)

Research outcomes and reports of high or significant regulatory or public interest


Research outcomes - Other

5 years (from date of publication or final report)

As found in

Public Record Office Victoria: PROS 16/07: Retention and Disposal Authority for Records of the Higher and Further Education Functions

Public Record Office Victoria: PROS 07/01 Retention and Disposal Authority for Records of Records of Common Administrative Functions