The University requires that the original data be retained for a specified period: Generally, three years after publication of the findings or all required final reports (e.g., progress and financial) for the project have been submitted to the sponsor.
The determination that data are “original” is simple in cases where data are physical objects, such as lab notebooks, paper surveys, telescope images, or specimen and is often discipline specific Different disciplines may also have a different understanding of what constitutes data and original data (or source materials). In cases where data are digital and copies considered identical, the distinction is less important.
It is the responsibility of the PI or the researcher to determine what needs to be retained under this policy. Optimal retention strategies may depend on the discipline. For example, some retention strategies may include retaining software necessary to generate the data or specialized documentation describing explicitly how data were collected. Examples of guidance about what should be retained include, the National Institutes of Health; the US Department of Health and Human Services; the National Science Foundation.