Faculty Separating from UTSA Guidance Regarding Data Ownership and Retention
- Principal Investigators and others involved in research are stewards of the data they collect. As with other issues related to scientific integrity, UTSA is committed to upholding the highest standards of responsible research practices. This commitment includes helping researchers record, collect, manage, and retain data that includes sufficient detail and for an adequate period of time to enable appropriate responses to questions about accuracy, authenticity, and primacy.
- Research or sponsored project data belongs to UTSA. UTSA is held accountable for the integrity of data even after the Principal Investigators and/or research staff have left the university and records are normally retained in the unit where they are produced (e.g., department or research center).
- PIs may be allowed to retain copies of the original data and research records, consistent with the precepts of academic freedom and intellectual integrity. In the event that Principal Investigators or other key researchers leave UTSA, they may negotiate a written agreement to allow transfer of research data and/or records. The researcher negotiates the agreement with his or her Department Chair or Unit Manager with approvals by the Dean or appropriate Vice President and the Vice President for Research or his/her designee to allow transfer of research or project data or records.
If a funded project is transferred to another institution, ownership of the data may be transferred with approval by the Vice President for Research or his/her designee and with a written agreement between UTSA and the new institution. The inter-institutional agreement must indicate that the new institution accepts custodial responsibilities for the data and that UTSA may have access to the data, should it become necessary.
- Research Data and Records must be kept at least three to seven years, depending on the governmental requirements applicable to the project. Original data may be kept for as long as may be necessary to:
- Investigate any allegations of scientific, scholarly, or financial misconduct or conflict of interest,
- Protect any intellectual property resulting from the work, and
- If a student is involved, at least until the degree is awarded or it is clear that the student has abandoned the work.
- Data is defined as any records that are necessary for the reconstruction and evaluation of reported results of a research or sponsored project and the events and processes leading to those results. Examples include, but are not limited to, laboratory and field notebooks, printouts, disks, photographs, slides, negatives, films, scans, images, videotapes, digital video, gels, blots, spectra, samples, specimens, human subjects consent forms, research reports, and analyses.
For more information, please see: UTSA HOP 10.09, Research and Other Sponsored Projects Data or Record Ownership and Retention
Council on Governmental Relations (October 2011), Access to, Sharing and Retention of Research Data: Rights and Responsibilities.