Research Data – Not Involving Human Subjects

Retention Rule Number: Specific Retention Rule 2014.15

Function/Activity: The records covered by this retention rule are a Scholarly Information Asset. They are collected, used, and disclosed by an academic staff member or post-doctoral fellow for research purposes and are outside the jurisdiction of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Generally includes: 1) Project management records e.g.: a. ethics approval b. funding applications c. human resource management d. purchasing of equipment and supplies 2) Creation/collection of research data 3) Documentation of research outcomes or results, including interim result

Description/Type of Records: Documentation and data that describe or record the methods, conduct, and/or results of research and the actions taken (e.g. protocol documents, risk assessments, applications for regulatory approval, approvals, funding applications, contracts, invoices, staff timesheets, research data, lab certification, procedure manuals). Note: This retention rule does not apply to: • research involving human subjects, • records created by the Research Ethics Boards, • course based research conducted by students, or • independent research conducted by students.

Retention Rules

Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) Retention Disposition
Information Trustee of the Scholarly Information Asset Retain for 5 years after the project is closed* or in accordance with the terms and conditions of the research agreement or funding agency.

*A study is considered to be closed when the Information Trustee determines that the study has ended and final reports have been submitted if required.

Retain/destroy at the discretion of the Information Trustee or in accordance with the terms and conditions of the research agreement or funding agency.

The University advises students conducting independent research to apply this rule to their scholarly information assets. For assistance, the student should consult his or her academic supervisor.


Project Management:  Confidential
Research Data:  Confidential
Research Outcomes:  Confidential OR Public Information (if published or if permitted by the sponsoring agency and Principal Investigator.


For Offices of Primary Responsibility (OPR):
Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management: Decisions regarding preservation, sharing and retention periods for data should be made in accordance with international and disciplinary best practices and relevant policies, seeking expert guidance where necessary.  The rationale for data preservation, sharing and retention is normally defined in a data management plan.

Requirements for retention may also be set out in a contract such as a grant, sponsorship or other funding agreement.

Approval Information:

  • Karen Jackson, General Counsel
  • John Reynolds, Associate Vice-President (Research) on behalf of Information Trustees
  • Lisa Atkinson, University Archives

21 August 2017