Are there any circumstances in which research records and data must be retained for longer than seven years?

Researchers and others may be required by the University, School or department to retain Research Records beyond the seven-year period in certain circumstances, for example:

  • In order to preserve or protect any intellectual property resulting from the research work, such as when the work is the subject of patent applications;
  • As required by an external governmental or other funding source or sponsor; or if needed in connection with pending or reasonably anticipated litigation and other proceedings related to the sponsored research, such as fact-finding for research integrity, human subjects or animal use purposes. If, for example, a research integrity  or human subjects research allegation is raised during the seven-year retention period, Research Records must be retained until the allegation is fully resolved, even if the process extends beyond the seven-year retention period;
  • If a student is involved in the research activities, Research Data and Materials must be retained at least until the student's degree is awarded, or until it is clear that the student has permanently ceased his or her work; and
  • If the research supports an FDA application, the researchers must comply with FDA document and data retention requirements to the extent that such requirements are more stringent, or of longer duration, than University requirements. See, e.g., 21 CFR 312.62 and 21 CFR 812.140
See also: Data Retention