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Managing Research Data and Materials

Research data and materials are the basis of good research and need to be managed properly.

Research data and records should be accurate, complete and in sufficient detail to enable verification of research results and to reflect what was communicated, decided or done. Data forming the basis of publications must be available for discussion with other researchers.

Materials, e.g. lab notes for chemical science work, audio recordings and samples for linguistics, field notes for anthropology, must be retained to substantiate published claims and research results.

Hard and digital data must be recorded in a durable and retrievable form, and be appropriately indexed so that it can be found. Where a field has specific standards for the management of data they should, as far as possible, be followed.

Research data must be retained intact for a period of at least five years from the date of any publication which is based upon the data. For some areas of research, data must be retained for longer periods. Researchers should consult any relevant guidelines or legislation such as the NSW State Records, General Retention and Disposal Authority - University Records.

Researchers are encouraged to share their data and materials with other researchers. Where possible, researchers should make data publicly available through a suitable repository.Click here for more information about managing research data at Macquarie University, and the University's databases and collections.