Is a longer retention period required for research involving children or individuals with mental incapacity as subjects?

A longer retention period is recommended if the research involves children or individuals with mental incapacity as subjects. PIs should consider retaining Research Data and Materials pertaining to such subjects at least until seven years after pediatric subjects have reached the age of majority or seven years after any mental incapacity has been removed. See e.g., M.G.L., c. 260 s. 7. During minority and/ or periods of mental incapacity, statutes of limitations are commonly tolled, allowing these persons, when they attain majority or capacity to file any legal claims for a period of up to six years after attaining majority or capacity. Therefore, a longer retention period for Research Data Materials relating to children and individuals with mental incapacity would allow the PI and the University access to all relevant records, for defense against any legal claims.

See also: Data Retention