Long-term safekeeping of data
Lund University is a public authority and is required under the Archives Act to archive all documents produced during research performed at the university. This includes research data, ethical review documentation, research documentation, and publications. Lund University’s Record Management and Archives section supports researchers and faculties with archiving.
Shortcuts to the content
- Delivering research data for long-term safekeeping
- Regulations on depositing and deleting data
- Access and confidentiality
- Ownership and copyright
When a research project is completed, the research data must be deposited for long-term safekeeping. If the research is ongoing the data should be deposited at suitable intervals.
Research data in analogue formats are deposited with Lund University Archives in consultation with Faculty Archivist at the Faculty of Science. There is as yet no arrangement in place for research data in digital formats. In the interim it is important that research data is stored securely at each department.
The regulations on depositing and deleting research data follow the same principle as other for research- or education documents, namely that we justify why we dispose of a document, rather than why we preserve it.
Some research documents must always be archived, for example research data which is unique or difficult to recreate, or is deemed to be of scientific or historical interest.
Some documents should be considered for deposit. This is done in consultation between the principal investigator, the head of department, and the Faculty Archivist. Primary data can be deleted if it is not unique or if it is deemed to be of no future scientific or historical interest. One example is laboratory work that can be repeated. Research documents must always be retained for at least 10 years before disposal. For drug trials, documents must be retained for at least 15 years.
The Swedish National Archives, the supervisory authority for public authorities’ archive operations, has issued regulations on the management of research records. Lund University has followed the Swedish National Archives in its own regulations on the disposal of research material.
- Swedish National Archives regulations for the management of records by public authorities (RA-FS 1999:1) (Swedish only) (PDF, 120 kB, new tab)
- Lund University regulations for the disposal of research material (Swedish only) (PDF, 142 kB, new tab)
- Lund University records management plan (Swedish only) (PDF, 3.6 MB, new tab)
- Guidelines on managing research material on the Staff Pages
Research data created at Lund University is covered by the same rights of access as the right to access public records. Research data constitutes a public record unless disclosure is prevented under the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act (OSL 2009:400).
Lund University is a public authority and any research documents created at the university therefore belong to the university. This includes research data. When you leave the university, you as a researcher may not take your research data with you; however, you hold the intellectual property rights to your research results and may take the information with you, even though you may not remove original documents (whether analogue or digital).
In academic or industrial collaborations, it is important to establish an agreement in advance about the ownership of the research data you will generate. It is essential in order to determine who is responsible for the long-term safekeeping of the data.