Research & Ethics Unit

 Long-term storage of research records
Home > Human ethics > Archiving

I Archiving I Access to stored material I Outside agencies I Commercial sponsors I

The Alfred Hospital Ethics Committee has developed guidelines for long-term storage of research records. The guidelines address:

  • the need to maintain full study records for a sufficient time to resolve scientific queries and challenges that may arise after completion of the study

  • the need to ensure that study records are disposed of carefully or in a fashion that will not compromise the privacy of study participants and confidentiality of the study data

Archiving / Storage of Research Records Guidelines (PDF)

Archive Record (MS Word)

All clinical and research records involving interventional studies are to be maintained indefinitely by the Hospital, unless deemed otherwise by the Ethics Committee. If your study is interventional and you believe it does not need to be stored indefinitely, please provide reasons in your final progress report. Records for non-interventional studies, standalone questionnaires and surveys should be retained for seven years after completion of the study (taken from the date at which the final report is submitted to the Ethics Committee).

On completion of all research studies, sufficient information should be stored to reconstruct the data analysis if required.

Study records must be packed and labeled in accordance with the Archiving / Storage of Research Records Guidelines. Labeling instructions, bar coded stickers and transportation details will be provided by the Ethics Office once materials have been packed in the archive boxes and you have forwarded your completed Archive Record to us.

Documents will be stored off-site with Recall Total Information Management and the cost will be borne by the Hospital..

Archived material is stored at:
Recall Total Information Management
451-465 Plummer St
Port Melbourne, Victoria

Please contact Anna Parker if you have any archiving queries.

Access to stored material
Contact Anna Parker at the Ethics Office, if you wish to access or retrieve material once it has been stored off-site.

Outside agencies
Where principal researchers work outside The Alfred, their research documentation would normally be stored elsewhere, eg at universities and other institutions. Such documents should now be archived according to the Archiving/Storage of Research Records Guidelines. Alfred contact persons or co-researchers for such studies should take steps to communicate this information to outside agencies. A draft letter can be used as a template for this purpose

Commercial sponsors
At present, some commercial sponsors store completed study documentation off-site at their own expense. Researchers are to liaise with the Manager, Ethics & Research Governance, if they have been involved in studies stored in this way or if the sponsor requests to store ongoing or future studies themselves.


This page was last modified on 09/01/12

The Alfred 2000 - 2012