Record Keeping Guidelines

Investigators frequently ask how long they should keep research records after a study has ended. Because different regulations apply to different types of studies there is not a simple answer to this question.

Ten years is a safe default standard, however, 10 years could be longer than what is required for many studies (note--gene therapy studies and those where the research may have contributed to a minor's incompetency have longer requirements as noted below).

The chart below lists types of records to keep and the different criteria that apply (or click here for a printer-friendly version). If you need further assistance contact the Health System Legal Office.

Compare record-keeping requirements below each study descriptor that applies to a study; keep records for the longest period indicated. Note that records generated under a grant or contract with an industry, government, foundation, or other sponsor may require longer retention, depending on the terms and conditions of the grant or contract.


Effective 1/3/08