Corporate Records & Digitisation Services (CRDS) manages the service of providing secure and adequate storage facilities for research data/materials created as a result of research projects. This business process enables elements to transfer eligible data formats to a 3rd party off-site storage provider ensuring appropriate recording and tracking of the records. Whilst this process is managed by CRDS, the fees for offsite storage are the responsibility of the element and will be billed directly by the 3rd party provider on a monthly basis.
Please note that this business process is mostly directed at storing hard-copy records. Please contact Scholarly Information & Research Services in the Division of Information Services if you require assistance with large volumes of records in electronic format.
This business process describes:
- A process for classification of data prior to being sent to off-site storage;
- The procedures for physical packing of archive cartons and transfer to off-site storage;
- Documented procedures for the access to records once in off-site storage; and
- A notification system for approval to destroy the stored research data once the minimum retention period is attained
- Griffith University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (PDF 149k)
- Schedule of Retention Periods for Research Data and Primary Materials (PDF 223k)
- University Sector Retention & Disposal Schedule
- Griffith's eResearch Services
- Request to establish account for offsite storage
- Notice of transfer of research data records
Determining which records are eligible for transfer to offsite storage
- Only those paper-based records classified as research data and with the retention being the responsibility of the University as specified in the Schedule of Retention Periods for Research Data and Primary Materials (PDF 223k) are eligible to be transferred to offsite storage.
Arranging an offsite storage account
- Iron Mountain is the third party offsite storage provider. All account establishments must be arranged through the Manager, Corporate Information.
- Invoicing of your sub-account will be on a monthly basis directly from Iron Mountain. The invoices are emailed to the nominated element administrative contact each month for payment.
- To establish an account with Iron Mountain complete the Request to establish account for offsite storage and forward to the Manager, Corporate Information. It will take one to two business days from receipt of this form for the account to be established.
Classification of data by the eResearch Unit prior to transfer
Scholarly Information & Research Services in the Division of Information Services is responsible for retaining information about research data held at the University, and linking it to the data's respective owners (Griffith researchers/research centres/schools). Research records created by this Institutional repository will be submitted to the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), a national discovery service produced by or relevant to Australian researchers. See the Research Data Australia Guide produced by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) for more information. Research records will also be discoverable through the Griffith Library Catalogue for the Griffith community at large.
Preparing the research data for transfer
- Records may only be transferred to Iron Mountain in special records-quality cartons purchased from Iron Mountain, available once your account has been established. Barcode stickers are provided free-of-charge by Iron Mountain and this label should be applied to the allocated space on the carton. All requests for transfer and retrieval of the cartons from Iron Mountain are tracked against this carton barcode label.
- Records should be packed in the carton in a way that enables easy retrieval of specific cartons if/when necessary. For example, records could be batched chronologically, alphabetically, numerically or any combination of these so that it is easy to identify a specific carton to recall from Iron Mountain at a later stage.
- The standard archive carton from Iron Mountain when packed should not weigh more than 16kg, even if this means not completely filling a carton.
Advising CRDS of records to be transferred to Iron Mountain
- To assist in the tracking and appropriate retention of all records transferred to Iron Mountain, a Notice of transfer of research data records will be sent to CRDS by the element detailing information about the records to be transferred.
- Upon receipt and verification of this form, CRDS will enter the record information into TRIM, the University's records management software program. It is this program which manages the retention requirements of the records.
- Note that the service contract with Iron Mountain only allows for a collection of 20 cartons in any particular collection run. If you have more than 20 cartons to be collected, the collection will need to be split over multiple days.
How much will the storage cost?
The University has a contract rate under the Queensland Government preferred supplier arrangement with Iron Mountain which is subject to annual review. Through this contract you will purchase compliant records cartons (pictured below). Once a sub-account is established, you will be billed directly by Iron Mountain and use their website to request retrieval and transfer of cartons of records by their dedicated courier. CRDS will be able to provide rates on request.
The base of a standard archive carton from Iron Mountain measure 31cm x 41cm with a height of 26cm. It includes an attached lid.
* Cartons must be purchased in minimum bundles of 25 cartons from Iron Mountain.
Accessing records stored with the offsite storage provider
- Web access via the Iron Mountain Web Management System will be enabled once the account has been established with Iron Mountain. Through this system, the element will be able to request the retrieval of any of their cartons in offsite storage. It is also how an element will be able to relodge the carton of records. Any new lodgements with Iron Mountain must be coordinated via CRDS to ensure that the records are lodged and tracked in TRIM.
- Elements should establish internal processes to ensure that only those who would be deemed to have authorised access to the stored records will be able to request their return from Iron Mountain. For example, only members of the research team and the Head/Director of the element would be able to ask the responsible administrative staff member of the element to retrieve the cartons from Iron Mountain .
What happens when records are due for destruction?
- The University has a legal obligation to retain records for the minimum period specified in the University Sector Retention & Disposal Schedule. The Manager, Corporate Information monitors when records have reached their legal minimum retention period and will liaise with the responsible element to determine whether the there are any factors which may effect the retention status of the records. The Manager, Corporate Information will negotiate with the element if records are to be retained longer than the minimum legal retention period, or if they may be destroyed.
- If an element retains the record for a further agreed period, this will be noted in TRIM.
- If the element agrees that the records may be destroyed, the Manager, Corporate Information will prepare a Disposal Authorisation Form. This business form includes all identifying information about the records being destroyed. It is forwarded to the element for authorisation by the researcher (where still at the University) or by the Head/Director of the element (where the researcher is no longer at Griffith University).
- Once signed by the element, it is returned to CRDS for final authorisation. A request will then be made to Iron Mountain for the records to be securely destroyed. Iron Mountain will provide a Destruction Certificate to the University once the records are destroyed. The Destruction Certificate along with the University's Disposal Authorisation Form are both retained by CRDS as permanent records of the University.
What happens when a researcher who has research data in offsite storage leaves the University's employment?
- It is the responsibility of the element to ensure that any research data held by the University in offsite storage is returned to the departing researcher. If, for any reason, the element elects not to do so, the element will remain responsible for the ongoing storage and associated fees of that research data to the end of its minimum retention period as specified in the University Sector Retention & Disposal Schedule. At the end of the minimum retention period, the steps described above will be activated. Destruction of these records will be authorised by the Head/Director of the element.
- If the element returns the research data to the researcher on departure from the University, there is provision in the Iron Mountain Web Management System for the element to request Permanent Retrieval of the stored cartons. The element will then cease to incur any further storage fees for the cartons of records returned.
Sending records other than research data to offsite storage
- To ensure appropriate management of the University's records, under no circumstances should elements arrange to transfer records other than research data to Iron Mountain without prior consultation with the Manager, Corporate Information.