What are my responsibilities for my data once my research has concluded? Knowing which data and records are safe to dispose can be complicated to determine.
Two online resources may help you understand what is required:
- Retention and Maintenance of Research Records and Data Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): These guidelines were created by the Vice Provost for Research to help guide the retention and maintenance of research records by Harvard faculty and staff.
- Harvard University General Records Schedule and Research Records section: The General Records Schedule (GRS) details Harvard’s policy on how long to retain different types of records and whether to send records to an archive or destroy them when they are no longer required.
- The GRS covers common records found across the University in all formats, including electronic records and email.
- The GRS is available to the Harvard community via Harvard Key authentication.
- For assistance with managing and disposing of data or records associated with your research:
- The Archives and Records Management Program at the Center for the History of Medicine, Countway Library, serves Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Consult the In-Office Destruction Documentation Form (Adobe Acrobat PDF): Used to document in-office destruction of records whose retention period has expired.
Do not destroy or otherwise dispose of University records without the authority of:
- the General Records Schedule and/or
- an Office Specific Schedule approved by the Harvard University Archives