The policy specifies how long researchers are required to retain their research data. How should data be handled at the end of the retention period?

If the data were obtained with sponsorship (funding) from a grant or contract from a U.S. federal agency, regardless of discipline or form of data, it is a requirement that all grant or contract records, including original data, must be retained, preserved and available for review for at least three years after the final financial transaction involving the grant or contract. Regardless of the funding source, Yale policy requires that research data be retained for at least three three years. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator or faculty mentor to ensure that original data are retained and accessible.

Retention of data beyond the required retention period as specified in this policy may be required by Yale policy, publishers, sponsors, and applicable law, and is otherwise at the discretion of the PI. Practical standards for data retention and archiving vary among disciplines and data types. PIs are advised to consult with the Research Data Consultation Group or ITS Research Technologies regarding long term retention options.

PIs are advised not to destroy research data until the PI has confirmed that there are no circumstances that dictate otherwise, including ongoing inquiries or investigations, ongoing use of the data by students, or current patents or other claims to intellectual property. Researchers are advised to consult with ITS Research Technologies and Information Security about the proper way to destroy data should that be deemed necessary and to remove data prior to redeployment, donation, or selling of any computer or peripheral in accordance with Policy 1609 Media Control and related Procedure 1609 PR.01: Disposal of Media Containing Confidential or Protected Health Information.  Researchers should consult their department or school regarding policies and procedures in place for destroying research materials.

Research Data Policy subcategories: 
Data Retention