MC² is a multi-user Core Research Facility within the University of Bath. It has a user base which spans disciplines and Departments across the University, and through expert Facility staff (Technicians and Instrument Specialists) it provides technical services, training and support for users to access key research instrumentation. This equipment generates data, and it is this data to which this policy applies.

University research data policy and the guidance pertaining to MC² generated data

The University has a Research Data Policy which outlines the legal, ethical and contractual obligations of the University and its researchers in regard to research data management. This Research Data Policy and the associated guidance state that:

The University of Bath Principal Investigator or Doctoral/Project Supervisor associated with a research project is the Data Steward for that project and is ultimately responsible for research data management. — Research Data Policy, point 2

Instrument Specialists in University Core Research Facilities will be responsible for the systems on which research data are created, but the Data Steward for the project will be responsible for the management of the data created by them, or by members of their research group, in accordance with this policy. This may involve the Data Steward transferring a copy of data onto resilient project storage prior to the end of the project and ensuring the long-term preservation and publication of data via an appropriate data archive. — Research Data Policy guidance, section 2.5

New data retention policy for MC²

MC² has conducted a review of the data storage responsibilities and needs of the data generated within MC². It is evident that under the University's Research Data Policy, MC² is not responsible for the long-term archive storage of data created in the Facility, and any data which is stored by MC² would necessarily be duplicates of data stored in user-specific resilient and secure project storage, as overseen by the Data Steward.

MC² will commit to making generated data available to users on the Current area of the X drive. This data will be available in this location for at least 1 year, with automatic deletion on or near the 5th of January, leaving an entire year of data still available. E.g. on 5th of January 2023, deletion of 2021 data, but leaving 2022 data.

The equivalent data will also be stored in the Archive area such that it is available in its original form in case of data files being corrupted or inadvertently deleted from the Current area. Additionally, the Archive area will be used to store data generated for Commercial clients of the fee-for-access analytical services provided by MC².

What users need to do

MC² will be deleting all data files generated prior to 2021 (i.e. 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 etc.) from both the Current and Archive folders of the X drive in 2022. To give users appropriate time to copy across their own data files from the X drive, this activity will take place on the 1st of June 2022, following a final email notification.

Please can all users therefore access the Current drive and the Archive drive (temporarily made read-only accessible) to copy any of their data, which is not already copied, to their specific resilient project storage as soon as possible.