- Background Information
- Policy Statement
- Policy Purpose
- Application of Policy
- Approvals, Roles & Responsibilities
1. Background Information
Anyone engaged in research activity by ACU as a member of staff, a volunteer, an affiliate, an adjunct, or visiting scholar.
Anyone enrolled in a Research Higher Degree, including doctoral degrees and masters by research degrees.
A project undertaken by a Researcher or a Research Student. A Research Project includes activities throughout the research life-cycle, including project planning and inception through to closure and post-project publication and dissemination or publication of Research Data or findings. For the purposes of this policy, a Research Higher Degree is a Research Project.
Data generated throughout and beyond the research life-cycle. Data that are in the form of facts, observations, images, computer program results, recordings, measurements, narratives or experiences on which an argument, theory, test, hypothesis or another research output is based. Data may be numerical, descriptive, visual or tactile. Data may be raw, or analysed, experimental or observational and may be held in any format or media. Data include records that are necessary for the reconstruction and evaluation of reported results of research and the events and processes leading to those results.
Research Data Materials
Physical objects collected and/or used during research from which Research Data may be obtained such as biological samples, survey questionnaires, measurements, recordings, texts and computer results.
All the processes and actions required to manage Research Data using good practice throughout and beyond the research life-cycle for current and future research purposes and users.
Information about an object or resource that describes characteristics of that object, such as content, quality, format, location and access rights. Metadata is considered adequate when it describes the data in enough detail to enable reuse of the data.
An institutional solution for the storage, description, discovery and reuse of ACU Research Data collections. The contribution of Research Data collections and descriptions to the Metadata Store increases the visibility of ACU research to the national and international research community, fosters researcher collaboration and appropriate citation of Research Data.
Research Data Management Plan
A document that describes how you will collect, organise, manage, store, secure, back up, preserve and share your data during and beyond the life-cycle of the Research Project. It deals with matters such as retention and disposal, archiving, accessing, sharing or publishing the data, and conditions or restrictions for data reuse.
- The Research Data Management Policy (hereafter referred to as ‘the Policy’) covers:
All Australian Catholic University (hereafter referred to as ‘the University’) Researchers and Research Students engaged in research activities associated or affiliated with the University, in all disciplines, irrespective of their location;
- All University staff, adjuncts, visitors and students (in the following referred to as ‘Researchers’) engaged in research activities associated or affiliated with the University, in all disciplines, irrespective of their location; and,
- All Research Data and Research Data Materials regardless of format, and subject to the provisions of any relevant contracts or funding/collaboration agreements.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) (DVC (Research))
1.4 Legal Framework
The University acknowledges that Research Data management must be consistent with:
- Relevant Federal and State legislation;
- The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007) (in the following referred to as ‘the Code’);
- The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007);
- Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) (under the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988).
- Relevant State Privacy Principles;
- University procedures and guidelines;
- ACU Human Research Ethics Committee requirements;
- Contractual requirements; and,
- Practices in the discipline and specialisation.
The Code states that all individuals and institutions engaged in research have a responsibility to properly manage Research Data, by addressing ownership, storage and retention, and access by the research community, over and beyond the end of the Research Project, particularly where the research would be difficult or impossible to repeat.
This policy must be read in conjunction with other related University policies, procedures and agreements which include but are not limited to:
- ACU Code of Conduct for Research;
- ACU Research and Professional Doctorate Degree Regulation;
- ACU Intellectual Property Policy;
- ACU Records Retention and Disposal Schedule;
- ACU Records and Archives Policy;
- ACU Data Governance Policy; and,
- ACU Research Data Management Toolkit
1.5 Ownership of Research Data
- Ownership of Research Data must be determined based on existing University policies, procedures and agreements; and,
- Researchers must be aware that ownership of Research Data may also be influenced by funding agreements or collaboration agreements with other institutions.
1.6 Research Data Management Plans
The University recognises that Research Data Management Plans are an integral part of best practice in Research Data management. Research Data Management Plans are required for submission of competitive research grant applications including the ARC and the NHMRC.
All Research Projects should be accompanied by a Research Data Management Plan. Information and resources on preparing a Research Data Management Plan can be found in the ACU Research Data Management Toolkit.
1.7 Storage, Access and Retention
To optimise research outcomes, Research Data must be:
- Documented and/or described by adequate descriptive and technical metadata;
- Stored securely to protect against theft, misuse, damage or loss;
- Held in appropriate, University approved facilities that allow access to be managed as required; and,
- Made accessible for use and reuse, and/or disposed of, according to legal, statutory, ethical and funding bodies’ requirements.
For further information on how to develop and maintain adequate metadata, which facilities are approved by the University for the storage of Research Data, or requesting approval for a different storage facility for your Research Data, please refer to the storage options which are outlined in the ACU Research Data Management Toolkit.
Determining the most appropriate Research Data storage option(s) for a Research Project can be clarified by completion of a Research Data Management Plan.
In accordance with the Code, Researchers may additionally store Research Data on their own infrastructure, including computers and/or external storage devices, provided the data is held securely in accordance with the requirements of the Research Project.
Unless otherwise mandated, Research Data must be retained at a minimum for the appropriate period specified in the Code, University policies, procedures and guidelines, Federal and State legislation, as well as ethical and contractual requirements.
In general, the minimum retention period for Research Data is five years post-publication. However, the specified period can vary depending upon the discipline and type of research. Further information on retention periods can be found in the ACU Research Data Management Toolkit, and in the ACU Records Retention and Disposal Schedule.
1.8 Reuse and Collaboration
- Where research is undertaken in collaboration with other institutions, any written agreement or contract should cover Research Data ownership, storage, accessibility, retention and disposal;
- Researchers may place restrictions on access to Research Data in accordance with this policy and its related procedures and guidelines;
- Research Data must be made available for discussion with other Researchers, subject to legal, contractual, confidentiality and ethical considerations;
- Research Data may be transferred to a nationally controlled inter-institutional database to facilitate collaborative research across institutions;
- Researchers given access to Research Data must maintain confidentiality; and,
- Information to enable the identification of any restriction on access and reuse of Research Data must be included in the Metadata Store.
Research Data must be disposed of safely consistent with the Code, University policies, procedures and guidelines, Federal and State legislation, as well as ethical and contractual requirements; and disposal of research material must not occur prior to the expiration of the appropriate retention period or prior to the resolution of any challenge to the results of the research, whichever is the longer period.
2. Policy Statement
The University is committed to achieving Research Data management standards for secure data retention, and to optimising the benefits of research through collecting, storing and making Research Data accessible in such a way that it can be used in future by members of the community.
In this respect the University recognises that:
- Research Data is a valuable product of research activity which can assist in raising the research profile of Researchers, Faculties, Schools, Centres and Institutes, increasing returns on public investment, complementing research outputs and publications, providing research transparency and justifying research outcomes;
- The management of Research Data should be compatible with the University’s mission and the commitment to the highest ethical standards in research, protecting the rights, dignity, health, safety and privacy of the community, including research subjects, and with its commitment to the welfare of animals and the integrity of the environment;
- Access to Research Data can raise the research profile of Researchers and the University, increase returns on public investment, promote open inquiry and debate, and enable innovative uses of data that may not have been foreseen by the Researchers at the time the data was generated; and,
- Research data management is a shared responsibility. All relevant academic and administrative units should work in partnership to implement good practice.
3. Policy Purpose
- Forms part of the University’s governance framework for Research Data management;
- Outlines responsibilities with respect to storage, retention, accessibility, use, reuse and disposal of University Research Data; and,
- Informs procedures and guidelines related to storage, retention, accessibility for use and reuse, and/or disposal of the University Research Data.
4. Application of Policy
This policy applies to the management of Research Data created by the University Researchers throughout and beyond the research life-cycle.
5. Approvals, Roles and Responsibilities
All of the below activities are to be carried out consistent with the Code, University policies, procedures and guidelines, Federal and State legislation, as well as ethical and contractual requirements.
The University is responsible for:
- Ensuring compliance of the University with the requirements of the Code;
- Establishing good governance and management practices surrounding Research Data management;
- Providing information and training to all Researchers and relevant University staff in regards to confidentiality, Research Data management as well as policies and governance surrounding research at the University;
- Allocating facilities for the safe and secure storage and retrieval of Research Data, as appropriate to the discipline;
- Overseeing the design, development, implementation and maintenance of centrally supported digital storage for Research Data and the institutional Metadata Store; and,
- Enabling inter-institutional sharing where data are of national importance.
The DVC (Research) is responsible for:
- Overseeing Research Data management planning activities across the University, and where appropriate, on an inter-institutional basis;
- Reviewing and approving facilities for the storage of Research Data in accordance with this policy;
- Providing advice on the appropriate disposal of Research Data Materials; and,
- Developing and disseminating this Policy and supporting documents for the management of Research Data.
The Director of Libraries is responsible for:
- Developing, implementing and maintaining the Institutional Metadata Store; and,
- Developing and disseminating procedures and providing training and support for University Research and Administrative Units involved in Research Data management.
The Director of Information Technology is responsible for:
- Developing, implementing and maintaining centrally supported digital storage for Research Data.
Heads of Schools, Research Centres and Institutes are responsible for:
- Implementing University guidelines and procedures on the retention of Research Data relevant to their research discipline and specialisations;
- Ensuring Researchers within the cost centre are aware of their obligations in maintaining up-to-date Research Data Management Plans;
- Ensuring Researchers within the cost centre are aware of their obligations and engage in training opportunities in the storage of Research Data on the University’s data storage system; and,
- Ensuring that the timing and the modality of the disposal of Research Data within their School, Research Centre, or Institute is consistent with the Code, University policies, procedures and guidelines, Federal and State legislation, as well as ethical and contractual requirements.
Researchers are responsible for:
- Ensuring that any Research Data Management Plans associated with their projects are kept up-to-date as the project changes over time;
- Maintaining accurate records of Research Data, and ensuring that these records and the Research Data are securely stored, including data held in computing systems;
- Ensuring that their Research Data are stored in accordance with this policy and information is provided for the Metadata Store;
- Enabling the sharing of their Research Data;
- Retaining Research Data at a minimum for the appropriate period, and, if the results of the research are challenged, at a minimum until the matter is resolved; and,
- Ensuring appropriate disposal of Research Data.
- Research Data Management Policy (Policy, PDF File, 723.1 KB)
|Policy applies to||
All Staff And Students
|Approval Authority||Academic Board|
|Governing Authority||University Research Committee|
|Responsible Officer||Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)|
|Date of Last Revision||01/06/2017|
|Date of Policy Review *||01/06/2019|
* Unless otherwise indicated, this policy will still apply beyond the review date.
Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Local Protocols
ACU Code of Conduct for Research
ACU Research and Professional Doctorate Degree Regulation
ACU Intellectual Property Policy
ACU Records Retention and Disposal Schedule
ACU Records and Archives Policy
ACU Data Governance Policy
ACU Research Data Management Toolkit
Page last updated: 2017-09-22
Short url: https://www.acu.edu.au/policy/513478