To: Members of the Faculty and Staff
From: Dorothy K. Robinson
Vice President and General Counsel
Re: Federal Grants Investigation:
Preservation of Research Data
In my email of June 30, I gave initial guidance on Yale’s legal obligation, during the government’s investigation into grants and contracts management at the University, to preserve research data developed under federally sponsored research. Since then, many individuals have expressed concern about whether they are required to maintain every iteration of such research data until the investigation is completed. In response to these concerns, we have had discussions with the responsible government agent, who has now made it clear that the government does not wish its inquiry to interfere with the active conduct of scientific research. Specifically, we have been informed that, going forward, you do not need to preserve newly created research data. This applies to all types of data, including dynamic systems that continually update and analyze a base of existing information. However, if you currently possess federally funded research data that were created and preserved in a static form prior to June 28, 2006 (for example, lab notebooks), you should continue to preserve those data.
As the investigation proceeds, new questions undoubtedly will arise, and I urge you to bring them to my attention or to Susan Carney or Harold Rose in the Office of the General Counsel (432-4949).
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