The policy clarifies the University’s position on ownership, retention, and access to research data. The Policy complements existing Yale policies and the Faculty Handbook (especially section XX. University Policies Concerning Teaching and Research) and codifies research-related practices already in place by Yale researchers. The policy is meant to provide simple answers to questions such as “who owns these data?” and “how long do I need to keep the data?” The Policy is aligned very closely with both the current policies of major research sponsors as well as those in place at many other prominent research institutions.
This policy is designed to put in place a structure that ensures that the interests of all stakeholders of research data and materials – the University, members of the research team, research participants, and funding sources – are protected. The University works in partnership with researchers to implement best practices and meet relevant legislative, research sponsor, and regulatory requirements, and to facilitate researchers’ ability to fulfill their role as primary custodians of research data and materials.
The policy does not change the fact that Principal Investigators (PIs) and other researchers have the academic freedom to make decisions about data they use in the course of doing research. Researchers continue to determine the course, publication, and copyright of any research, subject to legal requirements, Yale policy, and the terms and conditions of sponsored awards.
This policy is designed to complement, not supersede, other policies related (but not limited) the protection of human subjects, HIPAA, FERPA, intellectual property, financial management, and record retention.