These guidelines are primarily for researchers (staff, graduate research students and research collaborators from other institutions), and aim to address some common research data management issues experienced throughout the research process and research data lifecycle. The guidelines inform best practice for creating, preparing, storing and sharing data; providing basic advice, as well as pointers to relevant contacts at Monash University and to external sources for further information.

Data planning

How a planned approach to data collection, storage and dissemination can help you troubleshoot potential problems early and maximise your impact.

Ownership and rights

How Australian copyright law applies to data; staff and student ownership of data under the Monash Intellectual Property Framework; using other people's data responsibly.

Ethics and consent

Laws and regulations to protect privacy, confidentiality and cultural sensitivity; ethical data sharing; strategies for de-identifying quantitative and qualitative data.


Laws and regulations on how long data must be kept; assessing longer-term value at the end of the retention period.

Durable formats

How to choose a good digital file format; the risks of hardware and software obsolescence; finding local protocols for managing non-digital data in print and physical formats.

Storage and backup

Understanding your storage options; the Monash Large Research Data Store, and how to get access to it; risks associated with personal storage media (USBs, portable drives); assessing cloud storage options.


Encrypted services; best practice for password protection; secure data transfer; physical security; secure destruction advice; special services for clinical data requiring extra security.

Organising data

Strategies for structuring and documenting data so that you, and others, can find and use it into the future.

Sharing and disseminating data

How citing and publishing your research data can increase the impact of your research


Setting terms and conditions for re-use of your data; public domain dedications and copyright waivers; open licencing frameworks, including Creative Commons; restricted access agreements.