Research records must be retained for an appropriate period to allow further analysis and support monitoring. This ensures integrity and transparency of the data collected. Retention periods will depend on the type of study and also the type of research data/records.

Review bodies, like the Health Research Authority (HRA) and Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have guidance on record retention and since there are likely to be resource implications for storing large volumes of records for a long time, local research organisations have their own policies on archiving. These should be considered along with guidance, and any undertakings agreed to when accepting funding.

There should be clarity on the ownership and custodianship of archived research data, samples and related material, and agreements in place to clarify responsibilities and arrangements for access or sharing.

Health and Care Research Wales provides training in managing essential documents.

For further advice contact the Health and Care Research Wales support and delivery service.