The Records Services team 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 Records Services, 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 eResearch Services within Digital Solutions 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
- ZircoDATA is the third party offsite storage provider. All account establishments must be arranged through the Team Leader, Records Services.
- Invoicing of your sub-account will be on a monthly basis directly from ZircoDATA. The invoices are emailed to the nominated element administrative contact each month for payment.
To establish an account with ZircoDATA 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
eResearch Services within Digital Solutions 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. 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 ZircoDATA in special records-quality cartons purchased from ZircoDATA, available once your account has been established. Barcode stickers are provided free-of-charge by ZircoDATA and this label should be applied to the allocated space on the carton. All requests for transfer and retrieval of the cartons from ZircoDATA 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 ZircoDATA at a later stage.
- The standard archive carton from ZircoDATA when packed should not weigh more than 16kg, even if this means not completely filling a carton.
Advising Records Services of records to be transferred to ZircoDATA
- To assist in the tracking and appropriate retention of all records transferred to ZircoDATA, a Notice of transfer of research data records form will be sent to Records Services by the element detailing information about the records to be transferred.
- Upon receipt and verification of this form, Records Services will enter the record information into CM9, 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 ZircoDATA 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 ZircoDATA 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 ZircoDATA and use their website to request retrieval and transfer of cartons of records by their dedicated courier. Records Services will be able to provide rates on request.
The base of a standard archive carton from ZircoDATA 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 ZircoDATA.
Accessing records stored with the offsite storage provider
- Web access via the ZircoDATA's Web Management System (ZircoBRIDGE) will be enabled once the account has been established with ZircoDATA. 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 re-lodge the carton of records. Any new lodgements with ZircoDATA must be coordinated via Records Services to ensure that the records are lodged and tracked in CM9.
- 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 ZircoDATA. 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 ZircoDATA.
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, Productivity and Information Management 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, Productivity and Information Management 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 CM9.
- If the element agrees that the records may be destroyed, the Manager, Productivity and Information Management 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 Records Services for final authorisation. A request will then be made to ZircoDATA for the records to be securely destroyed. ZircoDATA 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 Records Services 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 ZircoBRIDGE 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 ZircoDATA without prior consultation with the Team Leader, Records Services.