The VU Research Integrity Policy (RI Policy) was established to implement Part A of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Australian Code).
Sections of the policy that relate directly to research data management include:
4. SPECIFIC RESEARCH ACTIVITY
4.1 Research data and materials
Researchers must maintain comprehensive notes, books, and records related to research activities, including details of observations, processes and other significant actions or findings, together with any research data and materialsnecessary to verify the integrity of a research project.
Research data and materials must be retained for a prescribed period beyond the completion of a research project to enable research outcomes to be validated and justified.
(a) The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Research Training will establish and maintain Common Research Data and Materials Procedures (Common RDM Procedures).
(b) The Common RDM Procedures will establish:
• the institutional framework for the management of research data and materials and records; and
• university wide procedures to manage research data and materials and records to ensure compliance with the Australian Code and this policy;
• processes and systems for the management of central and shared storage facilities (both physical and digital/electronic).
(c) Each Institute, Faculty or other operational unit undertaking research will adopt the Common RDM Procedures.
4.1.3 Research Data and Materials Plan
(a) All research supervisors must establish a Research Data and Materials Plan (RDM Plan) prior to the commencement of a research project.
(b) An RDM Plan should ensure the same level of care and protection is applied to primary records and analysed research data.
(c) An RDM Plan must contain:
i. a complete record of proposed sources of data and materials; and
ii. reference to, and location of, any catalogue of data and materials;
iii. procedures to be adopted to ensure safe and secure storage of, and access to data and materials;
iv. requirements for sharing and reuse, public access to, or deposit in a subject repository and/or institutional repository, taking into account confidentiality requirements, privacy laws and any contractual obligations;
v. procedures to be adopted to re-evaluate and dispose of research data and materials (if necessary) after a clearly defined period of time;
vi. other information and processes necessary to locate and access research data and materials to validate or justify research outcomes and ensure the integrity of the project.
(d) A RDM Plan should take into account, and include obligations under relevant laws, other codes of practice, professional and industry standards, contractual obligations and other University policies.
(e) All research supervisors must update their RDM Plan when:
i. there is a significant change to the RDM Plan; or
ii. the project is completed;
iii. they are no longer involved in the research project;
iv. they leave the University.
4.1.4 Approval and registration of a RDM Plan
(a) All RDM Plans must be approved by the immediate organisational unit leader or research supervisor (as appropriate) and registered in the RDM Register in the University Office for Research.
(b) The RDM Register in the Office for Research will contain:
• location of physical and/or electronic/digital data and materials; and
• location of copies or backups;
• minimum retention period;
• responsible person(s);
• location of the RDM Plan.