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Management of Research Data and Primary Materials

As outlined in the Code, the responsible conduct of research includes the proper management and retention of research data. Retaining research data is important because it may be all that remains of the research work at the end of the project.

While it may not be practical to keep all the primary material (such as ore, artefacts, biological material, or questionnaires), durable records derived from them (such as assays, photographs, digital recordings, test results, transcripts and laboratory and field notes) must be retained and remain accessible.

The central aim is that sufficient materials and data are retained to justify the outcomes of the research and to defend them if they are challenged. The potential value of the material for further research should also be considered, particularly where the research would be difficult or impossible to repeat. Working with your supervisor to determine a data management plan for the appropriate management and back-up of data and primary materials during and on conclusion of your research project is essential. The appropriate management and retention of research data becomes a much easier task where a data management plan is put in place from the beginning of your degree. Accordingly, development and lodgement of a plan is a compulsory requirement for completion of your Core Component of the Structured Program.

An updated version of your data management plan will be required at thesis submission, together with confirmation that you have deposited all the original data or primary research materials relevant to your thesis with your supervisor. To assist you in developing your plan, a number of resources are available as follows:


Figshare, the University's data and digital object repository, can be used to publish data and outputs arising from your research. Figshare serves two important functions for staff and research students. First, it allows the University to access and maintain a record of research data and second, it lets us expose datasets and information about our research that we may wish to share with other researchers.

Further information is available at:

In consultation with your supervisor, you should agree on plans for uploading your data and recording the information (metadata) about your research in Figshare. You may choose instead to deposit your data in a discipline-specific repository, in which case we encourage you to create a record linking to your data from Figshare. Figshare is cloud-based so you can log in to The University of Adelaide Figshare site from any location at

Remember not to include sensitive or confidential information as the record will be published on Research Data Australia.

For help and further information, please contact the Research Support helpdesk, by email to or by phone on 8313 7799.



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