Systems

Stash

You can use Stash to manage all aspects of your research data throughout the lifetime of a project. The Research Data Management Plan (RDMP) form in Stash helps you create RDMPs that comply with the ARC and NHMRC’s guidance on research data management. It also stores associated ethics permissions and data licences, to ensure that all the important information about research data is kept in one place. Using Stash, you can request a research workspace, including storage, from eResearch. Creating a data record in Stash allows you to archive a copy of your data, have it secured and managed for the retention period. Stash also allows you to create data publications, sharing your data as citable research outputs with an associated DOI.

Tools and tips for systems

Stash is UTS’s research data management platform. It helps you to manage your research data throughout the life of your project, from planning to archiving and publishing. It also lets you store associated ethics permissions and data licences, to ensure that all the important information about research data for your project is kept in one place. Stash also allows you to request a research workspace, including storage, from eResearch and ensures that the workspaces are also associated with your research data management plan.        

A research data management plan (RDMP) establishes a link between the project you are working on (even if informal) and your research data. It’s a way to tell UTS how you want the data to be managed—for example, who can access it, how long it should be kept and what should happen to it afterwards. Only the Data Manager and First Named Chief Investigator (FNCI) can edit an RDMP, and it can only be viewed by UTS collaborators who are listed as Contributors.

A data record is a record of the research data, whether primary or processed, to locate your research findings. It should include any documentation necessary to understand or reproduce your research, including code and any type of digital artefact. Only the Data Manager (DM) and First Named Chief Investigator (FNCI) or HDR Student Supervisor can edit the record, and it can only be viewed by UTS collaborators that are listed as Contributors.

There are many good reasons to create data records: the data is stored for many years, making it easier to find it again after any student or staff departures; eResearch manages it; and research integrity demands it, as does the UTS Research Management Policy. Furthermore, a data record is needed in order to create a data publication if you need to publish data.

In most cases (that is, where not precluded by legal or ethical obligations), yes! As a research institution, UTS has a responsibility to maximise the potential for future research, while providing secure storage and management of research data to allow for the justification and verification of the outcomes of research. So, for reasons of research integrity, the Research Management policy requires that you also deposit a copy of research materials and data supporting published research findings for the minimum retention period.

This means that before a researcher or HDR student leaves UTS, they should transfer ownership and management of their Stash records to the next person in the research hierarchy (for example, Supervisor, Centre Director, Associate Dean of Research). This option can be found under the “Manage” menu.

You will use Stash multiple times throughout the life of a research project. When you are in the early stages of a project, you will need to complete a Research Data Management Plan (RDMP) in Stash outlining the types of data that you will be collecting and how you will use and store it. If you need an ethics approval for your research, the RDMP is an important part of getting ethics approval.  

During your project, you can use Stash to request access to Research Work Spaces such as Qualtrics or eResearch Storage. You must have a completed RDMP to access these facilities. You should also keep your RDMP up to date as your project develops. 

When you want to create an archival copy of your data, you will use Stash to first create a data record, using information from your RDMP. eResearch will assist you to deposit an archival copy of your data. You may wish to do this regularly during your project in order to create snapshots of your research and help to protect your research data against loss or alteration.  

If you wish to publish your data, you will do this via Stash as well. 

You can download a PDF copy of your saved RDMP. Within Stash, select “Plan” from the menu bar and then click on “View/ Update RDMPs”. 

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You will be taken to a list of all your RDMPs. Click on the title of the plan you wish to download. Click on the red button marked “Download a PDF of this plan”. 

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First, complete all the mandatory fields and save your RDMP. Then navigate to the “Access and Rights” tab and click on the blue button labeled “Attach files”. This will open a window where you can drag and drop attachments or browse to a location on your computer and select files to upload.

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​It is possible to change the title of a project, but you will need to contact the eResearch team (eResearch-it@uts.edu.au) to do it for you.

The minimum period that research data must be kept depends on the type of research. UTS is bound by the State Records Act (NSW) 1998. Most research data should be kept for a minimum of five years after the completion of the research activity.

What happens at the end of the retention period?

When you create your RDMP, you will be asked to choose a retention period for your research data. Choose the period that best fits the nature of the research activity being described in your RDMP. When you come to deposit an archival copy of your data, this period will be noted along with the other information about your data. At the end of the retention period, the person nominated as the data manager will receive a notification that will ask them to confirm whether the data should be retained or destroyed. Note that there is no automatic deletion of data and the data manager can ask that the data be retained, for instance because it is still in use. 

Selecting a retention period

The following is based on The General retention and disposal authority: higher & further education and research (GA47), issued by NSW State Records and Archives: 

Research Data Type 

Minimum period 

Data and datasets created as part of research activities which are of regulatory or community significance. 

 Note: in assessing whether the data and datasets are of regulatory or community significance, consideration should be given to data created that is: 

  • part of genetic research, including gene therapy 

  • controversial or of high public interest, or has influence in the research domain 

  • costly or impossible to reproduce or substitute (i.e. with an alternative data set of acceptable quality and useability) if the primary data is not available 

  • relates to the use of an innovative technique for the first time. 

 

Required as State archives 

Data and datasets created from clinical trials, or research with potential long term effects on humans, as part of research activities, which are not of regulatory or community significance.  

Includes animal testing for human products. 

Retain minimum of 15 years after completion of research activity or until human subject reaches or would have reached the age of 25 years, whichever is longer, then destroy 

Data and datasets created as part of research activities which do not involve clinical trials, research with potential long term effects on humans, gene therapy and which are not of regulatory or community significance. 

Retain minimum of 5 years after project completed, then destroy 

Records relating to the treatment of animals in the organisation’s custody 

Retain minimum of 7 years after action completed, then destroy 

Records relating to the acquisition, storage, management, maintenance and disposal of bodies, body parts, specimens, human tissue, etc. 

Retain in accordance with legislative or compliance requirements, then destroy 

In addition, some funding bodies may have their own requirements regarding the retention of research data.

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